Members of the Fort Leonard Wood Better Opportunities for Single Service Members were given a new incentive for healthier eating last week.

Service members each received $75 gift cards to shop at the Fort Leonard Wood Commissary following BOSS's quarterly Quality of Life Summit held March 16 and Friday at Army Community Service. The funds were provided to BOSS members in support of the Commissary's Low Sodium Initiative.

Service members each received $75 gift cards to shop at the Fort Leonard Wood Commissary following BOSS's quarterly Quality of Life Summit held March 16 and Friday at Army Community Service. The funds were provided to BOSS members in support of the Commissary's Low Sodium Initiative.

On Friday, Javier Ramirez, assistant commissary officer, gave service members a tour of the commissary, highlighting the healthiest food options available. Following the tour, the troops had the opportunity to shop for healthy foods.

"We urged them to focus on purchasing items in the produce, meat and dairy departments," said Sgt. Paville Simpson, BOSS president. "We learned that the healthiest foods in the commissary, or any major grocery store chain, are in those three departments."

Ramirez said the initiative was part of the Commissary's Nutrition Guide Program, which promotes organics, whole grain and low-fat foods.

"We want the Soldiers to stay fit
and healthy and (we want to) provide more information to them," Ramirez said.

Ramirez encouraged the service members to be familiar with the layout of grocery stores and read labels.

"The Commissary is giving us better shopping options. When you walk through the store you see labels on products that tells us (if) it's organic, low-sodium, high protein, carbs, etc," Simpson said.

After the tour, Pfc. Priscilla Gibson said she was ready to put her gift card to use in making healthier choices such as choosing whole wheat bread rather than white.

"We learned which one is healthier, what is good for the body," Gibson said.

Pfc. Bill Marcelin said the presentation left him challenged to make good selections when food shopping.

"We are hoping to make better choices to live a healthier lifestyle," he said.

Aside from the nutrition briefing, the service members also focused on quality of life issues during the summit. The service members received information from the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital preventative medicine team, the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club and other Fort Leonard Wood organizations.

Simpson said the BOSS program lives by three major pillars -- quality of life, leisure and recreation, and community service.

"This summit is a collective of all three," Simpson said.

"We give back to the Fort Leonard wood community by shopping at the post Commissary and better the eating habits of BOSS (members) to help them become combat ready," Simpson said.

The BOSS program is open to all single service members on Fort Leonard Wood, including single parents and geographical bachelors.

For more information, contact Simpson at 573.563.5322.