Mobile Food Cart Brings Healthy Eating Habits to Thunderbolts

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Attendees of a food demonstration training course practice preparing fresh vegetables Feb. 8, 2019, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The demonstration cart will showcase a variety of recipes including meals that are often skipped such as breakfast and pre and post workout snacks.

Thanks to the 56th Medical Group Health Promotions office at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., along with support from members of the 56th Fighter Wing Community Action Team, an interactive mobile culinary cart program is being finalized and scheduled to be up and running summer of 2019!

The mobile food cart program is a way to get Airmen involved in preparing simple, nutritious recipes that are budget friendly. With only being the size of an average kitchen island, what makes the cart unique is its fully functional sink, cooktop, convection oven and multiple food preparation stations within the cart which lends itself to maximize hands-on skills.

“Many Airmen want to eat more nutritiously but lack the skills in meal preparation,” said Deb Robinson, 56th Medical Group health promotions dietitian. “The mobile cart allows us to go to them, where they work, and teach them basic cooking techniques. It will also expose them to new foods they may have never tried and expand the variety of food they eat.”

Healthy eating means consuming a variety of foods providing nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins and minerals to maintain your health and energy to execute the mission.

The Health Promotions office used existing data from annual health assessments and targeted high-risk units with low reported fruit and vegetable intake. The cooking demonstrations will bring awareness that proper nutritional balance is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Chef Stephanie Green, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, led a food demonstration training course Feb. 8, 2019, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Attendees were taught how to prepare simple, nutritious and budget friendly recipes that will be used as part of an interactive mobile culinary cart program at Luke.

“Combined with physical activity, their diet can help them reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce their risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and promote overall health,” said Sharon Kozak, 56th Fighter Wing community support coordinator. 

The demonstration cart will showcase a variety of recipes including meals that are often skipped such as breakfast and pre and post workout snacks. The recipes will limit the number of ingredients required, be cost conscious and substitutions and adaptations for recipes to meet a variety of food preferences will be discussed.

“Nutrition is the cornerstone of human performance,” said Robinson. “We need the right fuel at the right time to power our bodies to operate at an optimal level, physically and mentally. Getting the most from our diet means providing essential nutrients from foods so we can be active, stay focused and recover from injury or illness.”

For more information on nutrition and other total force fitness topics, visit https://www.hprc-online.org/ or contact Deb Robinson at 623-856-4552.