Dietitian-approved recipe posters help customers photograph healthier meal options to fit busy lifestyles

Courtesy Photo | Shoppers at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, are shown a great way to pair steak with arugula in this dietitian-approved recipe poster. They also noticed the great prices of the products in the nearby display. (DeCA photo)



Story by Rick Brink 

Defense Commissary Agency

FORT LEE, Va. – It’s been a little over a year since dietitian-approved recipe posters began helping commissary shoppers choose healthier meal options, and the program shows no signs of slowing down.

The posters, featuring large photos of prepared recipes along with the list of ingredients and preparation directions that customers can photograph with their cell phones, have become a welcome sight and service for health-conscious shoppers with busy lifestyles.

At Lajes Field in the Azores, the commissary reports that customers are quick to take photos of the posters as soon as the weekly display is swapped out. West Point Commissary, New York, store director Carol Robertin said one customer counts on it for a regular meal idea.

“She tells us she loves shopping the recipe of the week display because it is their surprise meal that they cook every Wednesday,” Robertin said. “The family loves it because they wind up making recipes they normally wouldn’t think to make.”

The recipes are dietitian-approved, which means they focus on high quality and optimal nutrition to help people meet health and wellness goals. They also make good “dollars and sense.”

“Our customers can rest assured that these recipes are nutritious and economical,” said Health and Wellness Program Manager Deborah Harris, MPH, RD, CDE (Masters of Public Health, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator). “They result in more home-cooked meals where it’s easier to control the caloric and nutritional values of what we eat.”

All of the recipes are in the easy-to-cook category, requiring only basic kitchen equipment and utensils to complete. Because of the variety of recipes, the location of the poster changes to match featured ingredients, and store workers often build product displays nearby to highlight the ingredients.

“We at DeCA and especially at the stores are dedicated to supporting the mission readiness and lethality of our nation’s military through providing the commissary benefit worldwide,” Harris said. “Having an easy, nutritious recipe with all the ingredients grouped together is just one way commissaries are working to improve the shopping experience of our military community.”

Dietitian-approved recipes are also featured in the YourCommissary sales flyer, easily accessed on the DeCA website. The site also features a large and growing number of dietitian approved recipes to help with weekly meal planning, and there are Thinking Outside the Box recipes that highlight healthy choices for cooking at home.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

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