March is National Nutrition Month. Are you up for the challenge?

Maybe there was a New Year’s resolution to eat better, but then came too much snacking while watching the big game or too many sweets for Valentine’s Day. It’s easy for the resolve to make healthier choices fade. But every day is a new opportunity to build healthier habits, and Your Commissary is here to help.

March is when spring begins, a time of new beginnings. It’s also National Nutrition Month, which makes it a great time to have a fresh start and become familiar with the Healthy Living resources offered by Your Commissary. Use these resources to help build healthy habits for 30 days and see how simple and effective these changes can be by taking the 30-Day Challenge.

Healthy living resources

DeCA’s Dietitian and Health & Wellness Program Manager Deborah Harris MPH, RDN, CDCES has designed these resources as a toolkit for the 30-day challenge, and in daily life to build healthy habits as simply as possible.

These resources are adaptable, because any or all of them can be used in whatever combination works best, while saving money on the meals themselves by shopping at Your Commissary. They’re effective because they’re dietitian-approved, based on scientifically-credible principles of nutrition and expert guidance from official government sources, like the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). And they’re easy to use because even simple changes, like cooking more meals at home or swapping out some recipe ingredients, can make a big impact.

“Nutrition doesn’t have to be scary and it doesn’t have to be ‘perfect,’” Harris said. “Any efforts you make to improve the nutritional quality of your diet are steps in the right direction, and this challenge is designed to encourage and support you in taking those steps in ways that work for you. Our resources are designed to be flexible, easy and economical.”

Thinking outside the box meal solutions

Try Thinking Outside the Box with meal solutions that pair quick, healthy, budget-friendly recipes with scientifically-credible, dietitian-approved guidance on how these meals can improve the nutritional quality of anyone’s diet. The meal solutions make it convenient to implement this, while also delivering the knowledge needed in order to put this into practice by making simple changes to other recipes.

National Nutrition Month dietitian-approved meal plan

Your Commissary’s Dietitian-Approved Dinner Meal Plan makes it easy to plan meals for the month – and it’s printable. It includes a calendar of dietitian-approved recipes that can be used for dinner throughout the month, as well as weekly shopping lists with space to fill in meal planning each day and what’s needed from the store each week.

Shop for meal ingredients in a few simple clicks

Use Commissary CLICK2GO, Your Commissary’s online ordering service, to instantly add the ingredients of those favorite dietitian-approved recipes to the virtual grocery cart. When users are ready to place an order, they can sign in to Commissary CLICK2GO, click on the recipe banner and select the recipe they would like to add to a meal plan for the week. Users can click the “Add to Cart” button beside each of the ingredients to select the specific products needed to purchase to prepare the meal.

Users can also click the printer icon in the upper right-hand corner of the recipe to get a printable version of it for easy reference while cooking. Preparing nutritious food at home has never been easier.

Dietitian Approved Thumb (DAT)

The Dietitian Approved Thumb (DAT) makes it easy to build a basket with Your Commissary by identifying healthy foods that are dense in nutrition from attributes such as lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains.

The DAT is a resource that was built exclusively for commissary customers to help them improve their overall health by putting “Thumbs Up” tags on food items that are dietitian-approved. This makes it easier for users to identify products that can supplement wellness needs while shopping.

Dietitian approved fueling stations

Visit Your Commissary’s “grab & go” Dietitian Approved Fueling Stations near the registers at participating locations to find a variety of nutritious and high-performance foods. Visiting one of these fueling stations is a great way to stock up on quick snacks and meals to enjoy while on the go, which makes it an excellent alternative to fast food drive-thrus. Users can find a list of participating locations on Your Commissary’s website.

Your Commissary also encourages users to visit the Deli Fueling Stations page to find a list of dietitian-approved salads, sandwiches and wraps that may be available in the deli department.

Connect with DeCA’s dietitian

The great news is that customers don’t have to go through the 30-Day Challenge alone. To help along the way, DeCA’s dietitian will provide tips and engage with customers who comment on weekly Facebook posts to share their progress.

Your Commissary will be making these posts each Tuesday night all month long, in preparation for #WellnessWednesday. DeCA’s dietitian will also host a special Facebook Live on the page to interact with customers participating in the 30-Day Challenge on March 8 at 2 PM Eastern.

If customers decide to share updates on their own feed, as well, whether on Facebook or another social channel, DeCA invites them to use #DeCA30DayChallenge and #NationalNutritionMonth as hashtags on social media posts.

Keeping the gains

When the 30-Day Challenge is over, March 31 can be a day to reflect on progress. Was it easier or harder than expected? What could be done better? And, most importantly, now that these healthy habits have been built, can those gains be kept and continued? Your Commissary encourages customers to visit the Healthy Living page regularly to stay up-to-date on the latest information. And, customers can use the Weekly Meal Plan Worksheet to continue planning meals and preparing shopping lists.

Anyone up for the 30-Day Challenge? Let Your Commissary know in the comments below.

By Courtney Rogers serves as the Defense Commissary Agency’s consumer advocate

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Published on Feb. 22, 2022

Estimated reading time is 5 min.

Views to date: 763

2 Comments

  1. Jason gaddie February 26, 2022 at 10:38 pm

    It seems like it would help veterans more if you all built commissaries outside of the bases too, in large cities.
    We live in Louisville Ky, and the veteran population here is enormous. Driving to Ft. Knox may not be an option but if there was local commissary more veterans could be served. There are several prime locations on Hurstbourne parkway.

  2. Sylvia Uebelhor February 26, 2022 at 3:14 pm

    I don’t live near a commissary. My Dr. recommends Plant Based Diets. I can eat fish and chicken.

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