Exchange Partners with Army, Air Force to Deliver Healthy Eating Options to Service Members Worldwide

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service now offers Soldiers, Airmen and their families more better-for-you dining options than ever, reaffirming its commitment to readiness and resiliency at military installations worldwide.

As a partner in the Healthy Army Community and Air Force Smart Fueling initiatives under the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Exchange has transformed its Express locations and restaurants to provide delicious, low-calorie options to Soldiers, Airmen and their families.

“Service members and their families lead increasingly busy lives, making it difficult at times to identify the right meal choices for their nutritional goals,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “The Exchange wants to make it easier to choose meals that support readiness, resiliency and a BE FIT lifestyle at all Exchange facilities.”

In 2017, the Exchange expanded its selection of name-brand restaurants offering healthy options, opening six Subways, three Boston Markets, two Smoothie Kings, three Qdoba Mexican Grills, and new Freshens and Muscle Maker Grill locations.

All of the Exchange’s more than 1,700 restaurants, including Boston Market, Arby’s, Subway and more, offer better-for-you menu choices to support our Warfighters’ readiness and resiliency. Exchange shoppers can also enjoy $2 off entrée salads at participating Exchange restaurants every Wednesday.

To help diners make the right choices for their meal plan, the Exchange lists calories on menu boards at Burger King, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Charleys Philly Steaks, Pizza Hut and Subway locations. Digital displays highlighting healthy options have also been introduced at 40 Exchange food courts, making it even easier for diners to identify better-for-you meal choices.

At more than 320 Express locations, shoppers can choose from nearly 400 BE FIT-approved items, including fresh fruit; yogurt; grass-fed, nitrate-free beef sticks and jerky; gluten-free meat snacks; seaweed crisps; and more—a 17 percent increase compared to the number of BE FIT items available at Express locations in 2016. All BE FIT items must have fewer than 500 calories for entrees and 200 calories or less for snacks and contain less than 40 percent of calories from fat and 10 percent or less of calories from saturated fat.

Express shoppers can also find BE FIT items conveniently located at front-of-store endcaps. Reach-in coolers containing wraps, salads, hummus, yogurt, fruit and hard-boiled eggs have also been introduced at more than 100 Express locations worldwide.

Even Exchange vending machines are expanding better-for-you choices, including Bare Fruit chips, Back to Nature Honey Graham Sticks, CLIF bars and Odwalla banana nut bars (selections vary by location). These and several other Exchange vending options fulfil National Automatic Merchandising Association Fit Pick requirements, containing fewer than 35 percent of calories from fat, fewer than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat and fewer than 35 percent total weight from sugar.

Fit Pick items are also approved by the American Heart Association, United States Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Alliance for a Healthier Generation. At Army Advanced Individual Training locations, 50 percent of Exchange vending machine snack items meet these requirements.

“Whether snacking on the go or sitting down for a meal, the Exchange has Soldiers, Airmen and their families covered with the healthy options they want,” Reyes said. “The Exchange is family serving family, and you wouldn’t feed your family anything less than the best.”

For information on healthy dining and Express options, contact your local Exchange. A directory of stores can be found at ShopMyExchange.com/exchange-stores.

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As a partner in the Healthy Army Community and Air Force Smart Fueling initiatives under the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Exchange has transformed its Express and food court experiences to provide delicious, low-calorie options to Soldiers, Airmen and their families. Read more: http://bit.ly/2nk4kwD.

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Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. As the 56th-largest retailer in the United States, Exchange earnings provided $2.4 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or hammettc@aafes.com.

Follow the Exchange:
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Twitter:  https://twitter.com/shopmyexchange
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