By Karl Weisel, USAG WiesbadenFebruary 17, 2012
WIESBADEN, Germany (Feb. 17, 2012) -- They say an Army travels on its stomach, but that stomach has been slowing Soldiers down, especially those in harm's way, according to Army officials.
The U.S. Army Europe's Fueling The Team Program, known as UFTT, is aimed at educating, promoting and supporting USAREUR Soldiers, civilians and families through healthier eating choices.
"Army-wide, we're trying to get healthier," said Sgt. 1st Class Jose Pineda, Wiesbaden Dining Facility manager.
With that in mind, the dining facility has been introducing a number of changes to better support the UFTT program, Pineda said.
"The Wiesbaden Dining Facility has adopted a full-service sandwich bar that will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It will offer deli sandwiches with a choice of three meats (turkey, ham, roast beef), four types of bread (wheat, white, multigrain and French bread) and a variety of sandwich toppings," he said. Also featured are two hot sandwiches and burgers. "The sandwiches are prepared fresh to order by one of our helpful employees."
The Wiesbaden facility is also now offering a chicken ranch salad bar on Tuesdays.
"This bar offers a fresh-made salad -- made to the customer's liking," said Pineda. "Customers can choose from an array of fresh salad toppings mixed with cut-up chicken breast and ranch dressing upon request. The salad itself is like a meal."
During a tour of the new sandwich bar line, Pineda explained that in addition to the new features, cooks are concentrating on offering more food that has been prepared to be more nutritious and in keeping with a more health-conscious lifestyle. That includes baking French fries and onion rings rather than deep-frying them and offering choices when it comes to other items such as baked chicken instead of fried chicken.
While the UFTT Program works closely with the European Regional Medical Command and other agencies to ensure menus meet Department of Defense nutritional standards, managers have leeway to make local adjustments.
Patrons will continue to find a hot serving line, in addition to the new features, the facility manager said. "These are just a few changes taking place as of now, but look for more changes and healthier menus to come. Be patient, it's going to get even better."
Regular training is also part of the program to enhance the UFTT program and ensure patrons are given tasty, healthy and nutritious food, he said.
Current hours of operation on the weekdays are breakfast 7-8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
As of March 1 patrons will also see additional staff join the team of Soldiers and civilians, providing an expanded schedule to include dinner on weekdays (for Soldiers only) and brunch and supper on the weekends, Pineda said. A stirfry section will also be added to the sandwich bar line.
The Wiesbaden Dining Facility will be renamed sometime in the near future, he said, to be known as the Victory Cafe.