By Cannoneer staffApril 5, 2012
FORT SILL, Okla. -- Fort Sill dining facilities competed against each other through a rigorous inspection process which evaluated for nutritious tasty meals, cleanliness, customer satisfaction and providing diners with nutrition awareness information.
The activity was part of March's National Nutrition Month, themed "Get Your Plate in Shape."
Nutrition awareness is just one of the initiatives the Army does year-round to promote health, fitness, and personal and unit readiness, said Jonathan Williams, Installation Food Program manager.
The six-person inspection team of dietitians, food service managers, logistics administrators and military cooks inspected Green, Guns and Rockets, Reynolds Army Community Hospital, Blockhouse, Garcia and the Super DFACs.
They were looking for a 500-calorie or less menu, baked or roasted entrees, at least two dark vegetables, a variety of fresh items at the salad bar and low-fat milk, said inspector Larry Immenschuh, RACH dietitian.
They also checked color-coded nutrition information labels which informed diners of the dietary choices they were making based on the Choose My Plate guidelines, which replaced the food pyramid, Immenschuh said.
Choose My Plate is a simple way to explain how to get all food groups in one meal, he said.
"Half your plate should be fruits and vegetables, a little over one-fourth of it should be grains, another fourth a protein source and you add dairy," Immenschuh said.
As part of the nutrition awareness outreach, the Directorate of Logistics sponsored a poster contest during February at the post's two public schools, Williams said. Virtually all the posters from students at Sheridan Road Elementary and Geronimo Road Elementary schools were displayed at the six DFACs.
At Garcia DFAC March 30, inspector Shelia Mann, DOL Food Service Operations assistant, talked with DFAC military cooks about how they keep abreast of nutritional updates, and how changes in sanitation procedures are passed on to staff. That usually happens during training time, one of the senior Soldiers said.
Mann also polled diners about what they thought of the meal.
Noncommissioned Officer Academy student Staff Sgt. Ryan Taylor, here from Fort Polk, La., said he wanted a better variety of vegetables and meats, but he liked the food.
"The meal was good today; it was one of the better ones," said Taylor, a student in the Advanced Leaders Course.
Marine 2nd Lt. Alex Ryan, Basic Officer Leader Course student, was eating at the Garcia DFAC for the first time. "The facility looks great," he said.
Inspector Christopher Foster, DOL Food Service quality assurance evaluator, was at the Garcia DFAC March 30; his fourth inspection during the month.
"The dining facilities have been doing an outstanding job," Foster said. "The facilities have been showing a lot of quality meals and creativity, as well. They're doing a good job."
The winning DFAC will be presented a plaque in April.