Fit for 2023: Your commissary offers nutritious choices, quick meal solutions, wellness resources to align with your fitness goals

Courtesy Photo | Make every bite count with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (Graphic courtesy of USDA)



Courtesy Story

Defense Commissary Agency 

By Kathy Milley, DeCA public affairs specialist

FORT LEE, Va. – Feeling like you’re up to your chin in sugar cookies and extravagant holiday feasts? Ready to climb out of the snack wagon? Well January’s here and we suddenly start making impossible demands of ourselves. In order to stay true to our resolutions, say longer than a month, we need to keep it easy.

Your commissary is the simple solution to help you recover from the holidays and stick with it until the next holiday season. That’s the message from Deborah Harris, the Defense Commissary Agency’s dietitian and health and wellness program manager. She holds a master of Public Health degree and is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.

When committing to a healthier lifestyle and wellness goals, Harris says the commissary strives to keep patrons motivated by offering the following easily identifiable high-performance foods and easy-to-use, quick meal solutions and wellness resources:

• Dietitian-Approved Thumb (DAT): The “Thumbs Up Dietitian-Approved” tags on shelves makes it easy for patrons to quickly identify high-nutrition, quality foods to incorporate into a healthy eating pattern. DAT uses unique software that analyzes and identifies products in most of the commissary food categories based on up to 86 of the FDA-defined health attributes. These attributes can drive better shopping selections throughout the store by calling out items with limited added sugar, sodium and unhealthy fat while offering whole grains, healthy fats, fiber or lean protein as well as identify items that qualify as USDA Organic. Once these products are identified, they are labeled on the commissary shelves with a “Thumbs Up Dietitian-Approved” tag.

• “Thinking Outside the Box” recipes: Preparing nutritious food at home does not have to be difficult or expensive. With “Thinking Outside the Box” recipes, your commissary continually offers meal solutions that are quick, healthy and economical with ingredients typically offered at enhanced savings to our customers. The recipes are always accessible on under the “Healthy Living” tab. This library features quick and easy, dietitian-approved recipes for appetizers, entrees, salads, side dishes and even desserts.

• Commissary CLICK2GO: Use Commissary CLICK2GO, the commissary’s online ordering service, to instantly add the ingredients of your favorite dietitian-approved recipe to your virtual grocery cart. When doing your Commissary CLICK2GO ordering on, click on the Recipe link, select the recipe you would like to add to your meal plan for the week and simply click the “Add to Cart” button beside each of the ingredients you need to prepare the meal. Preparing nutritious food at home has never been easier.

• Mobile App: Download DeCA’s new mobile app to access the commissary’s website programs like Commissary CLICK2GO online payment and curbside pickup, digital coupons, the sales flyer, dietitian-approved recipes, healthy living resources and much more. The mobile app is free for download through the Google Play and IOS app stores, offering our patrons more convenience and flexibility when using their commissary benefit – wherever they are.

• Fueling stations: The Dietitian-Approved Fueling Stations, located near the front-end checkout aisles in over 170 commissaries, offer tasty, nutritious meals and snacks to give patrons the convenience they need without the high-calories or high-cost of a fast food restaurant meal. Customers can expect to see products that offer protein, healthy fat, complex carbohydrates and a low-calorie form of hydration like low-calorie flavored waters and sports drinks, deli sandwiches, single-serving hummus, ready-to-eat lean protein, fruits and cheese, no-added-sugar yogurts, low-sugar protein bars, or prepared sliced fruits and salads.

• Quick home-cooked meals: Lack of time shouldn’t prevent patrons from preparing nutritious home-cooked meals. DeCA has prepared a list of no-fuss entrées chosen from the many dietitian-approved “Thinking Outside the Box” recipes featured on The list is designed to minimize preparation time with quick and easy meal solutions featuring ingredients that will save money at the commissary. It features links to quick-prep recipes using a slow cooker, microwave or pressure cooker; make-ahead freezer meals; and one-skillet meals and entrees using prepared protein like rotisserie chicken and canned tuna.

• Meal planning: To take the work out of meal planning, DeCA has created two dietitian-approved dinner menu plans including weekly shopping lists, each for an entire month of family meals. These monthly menu plans are available on at these links: Meal Plan #1 and Meal Plan #2. Choose your preferred plan and simply print off the shopping list for the week, add breakfast and lunch items and your shopping list is ready. You will have everything you need for the week. If you would like to create your own menu plan tailoring it to your family’s preferences, use our easy-to-follow planning aids, the Dietitian-Approved Menu Planner and the Weekly Meal Plan Worksheet.

“We offer our patrons easy solutions to maintain a nutritious diet,” said Bonita Moffett, DeCA’s sales director. “We work diligently to provide the right mix of products and resources to support their wellness objectives all while saving big at the checkout. Using these commissary resources will make their New Year’s resolutions something they can stick to.”

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