Marching on healthier stomachs (archives)
Forget about those fattening IDF breakfasts, from now on the mess will be serving healthier fare. A successful pilot that began in the first months of 2012 has led the highest military echelons to decide: The health food revolution would be coming to the IDF.
Major Yossi Nidam, head of the Nutrition Department in the Logistics Branch has been examining methods to make the troops healthier. "We took part in the Wingate Institute's 'Healthy Lifestyle' project which attempted to improve the field units' physical fitness," Nidam said.
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"We tried to make the field troops healthier and after seeing the project's successful results, decided to expand the project to all units."
Over the last six months Nidam gave healthy cooking workshops to 6,000 kitchen supervisors who were taught about healthy cooking methods. At the beginning of the year he told the supervisors to prepare for a revolution, and two weeks ago the announcement became an order to all IDF units.
Meanwhile, Nidam, together with Nutrition Branch Head Lieutenant-Colonel Sandra Moshe, worked to purchase healthier ingredients and quality cookware that is supposed to improve nutritional values.
"We determined what was unhealthy and decided to replace it with healthier food without wasting more money," he explained.
The pilot received enthusiastic reactions and the health food kick became a trend as more and more soldiers requested stir-fried and grilled food rather than deep fried foods.
The new directives state that fried food may only be prepared once a week, a change from the limitless amounts of fired foods previously permitted.
"Only units with specific needs are allowed to prepare fattening food like Bourikas," Liuetenant Colonel Moshe noted.
The IDF has also decided to decrease the number of field rations, instead offering soldiers in training personal pre-packed meals that include bread rolls, cheeses, fresh vegetables and cereal for breakfast and dinner.
"We want the soldiers to eat healthy (food) but taste is an issue we place before us," says Nidam who is planning a 'healthy kitchen wiz' competition which will be held in November.
Leading Israeli chefs will act as judges and decide which of the dishes prepared by military cooks using ingredients available in the IDF kitchens is the best.
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