Navy Nutrition Month Promotes Healthy Eating

by Nicholas Aures
Performance Enhancement Dietitian for Navy Fitness

Recruits dish up food for lunch in the galley of the USS Triton barracks at Recruit Training Command, the Navy's only boot camp, Oct. 31, 2012. (U.S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom/Released)

Recruits dish up food for lunch in the galley of the USS Triton barracks at Recruit Training Command, the Navy’s only boot camp, Oct. 31, 2012. (U.S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom/Released)


If you haven’t heard, it is National Nutrition Month – sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – with the slogan “eat right, your way, every day.”

Nutrition plays a vital role in not only the performance of physical and mental on the job tasks, but also in your overall health. The Navy backs up this message, and in showing our support, has declared this Navy Nutrition Month. During the course of the month, Navy commands are sponsoring events to promote healthy nutrition strategies. Check out the NAVADMIN for more specific information.

Outside of this month, the Navy and many partnering organizations continue to offer a variety of nutrition programs and initiatives to improve the nutritional habits and overall food environment for our Sailors.

One program is the Mission Nutrition course, which is taught by certified instructors at MWR fitness centers. The two-day class covers a variety of nutrition topics that you may face every day. The goal is to improve nutritional knowledge and awareness, and to give you the tools necessary to maximize your performance and physical readiness.

Course feedback has been great.

  • “There definitely was a transformation in my eating habits instantly after learning the facts about food.”
  • “The information has changed me for the better forever as well as my family.”
  • “I am excited after leaving the class and I can truly say eating and living healthy is a lifestyle now.”
  • “I’m sharing the information to my friends and coworkers and trying to get as many people to sign up for the class. Thank you Mission Nutrition.”

Some of the other nutrition programs available include Galley Go Green, Eat Healthy Be Active workshops and the military Nutrition Environment Assessment Tool (m-NEAT).

As a former Sailor, I completely understand the day-to-day difficulties that impact the daily diet. Long hours, unorthodox work schedules and limited accessibility to food can be just a few of the challenges faced. To combat these and to be well prepared for any nutrition problem you may face, here are four quick tips to get you through:

  1. Keep ready to eat snacks available such as trail mix, dried fruit, granola bars, light popcorn or beef jerky to help curb your appetite. These foods, which store well, are great for traveling and effectively curb your appetite. They are nutrient dense and help keep your hunger suppressed until you can have a larger meal.
  2. Remove undesired snacks such as pastries, candies and chocolates, and keep them out of your working space. These foods tend to offer excess calories and do nothing for your appetite.
  3. When aromas of nearby foods take over, ask yourself whether you are really hungry. Get your mind off it by taking a quick walk around the office space or starting a conversation with a co-worker. If you really are hungry, eat one of the snacks mentioned above.
  4. Hydrate! Sipping on water is a great way to keep yourself occupied and less likely to snack. Proper hydration plays a huge part in overall performance.

For more information about this course and many other topics about fitness and nutrition, visit Navy Fitness’s website.

How well do you eat? How do you try to eat healthy even when busy?