Health & Safety

February 28, 2014

Exchange resolves to promote healthier living

Chris Ward
AAFES Public Affairs

According to Statistic Brain, more than 35 percent of Americans have already broken their New Year’s resolutions.

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is doing its part to make it easier for troops, and their families, to maintain their “bottom lines” when making dining choices on and off duty.

The Exchange School Meal Program, which provides more than 24,000 lunches daily to overseas school children, discontinued frying in all schools and offers gluten-free and vegetarian meals.

The schools also serve whole grain breads, cookies and rice, 100-percent fruit juice, reduced fat and/or low sodium entrÈes as well as an expanded assortment of fruits and vegetables.

Dining in the Exchange Food Court doesn’t have to be a resolution-buster as virtually every establishment offers healthy dining options. Popeyes Chicken has created a menu platform called “Louisiana Live Well” which features 20 menus offerings, all 350 calories or less, that are full of Louisiana flavor. They have also created three new salads that meet the Exchange’s Operation BeFit criteria that began testing in December and should roll-out in spring 2014. The Exchange has also introduced Coke Zero as a beverage option at all Continental United States Food Court locations.

Subway has led the charge by being the first fast food restaurant to earn the American Heart Association heart check for heart-healthy meals. Subway Fresh FitÆ choices certified by the American Heart Association include eight different subs with six grams of fat or less.

Charley’s Philly Steaks is transiting from a two size platform to three sandwich sizes. This initiative was to introduce a less filling, smaller sandwich size for the lighter eaters. The Exchange will transform all CONUS stores in the first quarter of 2014.

Burger King offers an online “Build-a-Meal” menu that reveals nutrition facts for various meal combinations. Burger King also allows diners to select a side salad instead of fries for the same price and offers 10 menu items less than 500 calories that meet the Exchange’s Operation BeFit criteria. In addition to Subway and Burger King, 12 other food court options, including Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, offer a wide variety of resolution-worthy initiatives. AAFES restaurant nutrition information is available online at http://www.shopmyexchange.com/docs/nutrition.pdf.

While gassing up the car at the Express, military shoppers can also fuel up inside as healthy options abound throughout the store. Snack Avenue offers fresh salads with less than 300 calories as well as chilled fruit cups and oatmeal. The Fresh Fruit program, which has been in operation for several years, offers bananas, apples, oranges, limes and lemons in nearly 400 facilities. Exchange Expresses offer customers a wide array of meal replacement options such as PowerBars, Clif Bar, Zone Perfect and Detour Bars, all available in assorted flavors.

“The Exchange plays a large role in the lives of military members and their families,” said the Exchange’s Chief of Staff Col.Tom Ockenfels. “As such, it is extremely important that we are providing them healthy options wherever they are called to serve.”




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