Meals at USAFA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by wildblueyonder57, Jan 20, 2018.

  1. wildblueyonder57

    wildblueyonder57 Member

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    Hi, I was just wondering about what the meals are like at USAFA. I generally eat pretty healthy with lots of fruits, veggies, good fats, whole grains, and lean proteins. I use little oil, butter, sugar, etc and I was basically wondering if it’s possible to continue this sort of diet while at the academy? I understand it’s mass produced and not everyone likes to eat as healthy as I do so making “tastier” foods for cadets would make sense. It’s just that 4 years is a long time and it takes a while to retrain yourself how to eat good foods after not doing it for while so I was hoping that maybe they provided options for that:/ I’m just trying to prepare for what I’ll have to give up I guess. Thank you so much!!!
     
  2. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American 5-Year Member

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    Yes. You'll be fine. There are lots of options for picky eaters..
     
  3. Tex232

    Tex232 Member

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    Lol, good luck keeping up with your "diet" when they start handing you MRE's. Sometimes you have to eat what you're given or go without, welcome to the military.
     
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  4. keeperkat90

    keeperkat90 Member

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    It is possible, but really only when your a upperclassmen or able to have a fridge. During Basic it’s almost impossible because they are trying to get you to eat 2,500 to 3,500 calories a day of the easiest thing they can make, chicken bread and fats.
     
  5. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    Consider getting the "vegetarian" card so you have an alternative if you don't like what's being served. Worked for DD.
     
  6. Tigger

    Tigger 5-Year Member

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    Sounds like this is a healthy diet not a picky diet!

    Current cadets and recent grads will be your best source of information and options for this issue:)

    Good luck!

     
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  7. techygirl

    techygirl Member

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    I am an athlete and eating healthy is important to me as well so I completely understand where you're coming from! Wanting to eat healthy doesn't make you picky; picky eaters typically only eat unhealthy foods...

    I was looking for healthy options when I visited USAFA and wasn't able to find much on the particular day I was there. They did have some packaged containers of lettuce and some apples and oranges but that was about all I found. On the table they served grilled cheese sandwiches, cheesy tomato soup, and Cheez-Its. Again, I'm not saying they don't have healthy food, that was just the day I was there.

    When I visited Navy, they had a lot of options, including a nice salad bar and refrigerated section with sandwiches, fruit, hard boiled eggs, etc. in addition to the meal on the table. You might ask and see if they have similar options at AFA.
     
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  8. keeperkat90

    keeperkat90 Member

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    We do, it’s just called the vegetarian option or finding where they placed the salads that day. There’s always fruit at mitches, and hard boiled eggs in the morning.
     
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  9. Pirona2000

    Pirona2000 Member

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    I think it's obvious that you can eat healthy at the Academy....it's even offereded at most fast foods..
     
  10. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American 5-Year Member

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    Picky/healthy... potato,potatoe

    What was the fear, that the military would serve sourpatch kids and gummy bears?

    The military has been doing it right for a long, long time.

    Reminds me of the post from the kid that was afraid he wouldn't be challenged physically at the academy because he wanted to be in tip top shape.
     
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  11. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Physical and mental fitness is a primary concern at all the SAs, and diet is always a part of that.
    People who do NOT have a healthy diet coming in, will discover that a healthy diet is what is offered at all Service Academies.
    They want these students to excel in all categories. Diet, exercise, and sleep are a huge part of that. Good luck on the sleep thing, however.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  12. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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    My C4C may not always be a fan of the meal being served, but knows he needs steady calorie intake to perform optimally and that he can get three healthy meals a day at Mitchell Hall. There are a couple of alternate (additional cost) dining venues at Arnold Hall, but they are generally not as healthy as what USAFA provides at Mitch's.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    No offense to the OP, but the 1st thought that went into my mind when reading their post was can you say "Big Boy/Girl program?"

    Anyone in the AF knows that they care about your weight. The last thing they want is any cadet to have to be taped because they are serving them fried foods at every meal.
     
  14. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna 5-Year Member

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    There are a lot of cadets who think a lot about how to eat healthily at Mitch's, because sometimes it does fall short with its primary options. I'll try to share what I saw/experienced while I was there.

    As someone who's seen both USNA and USAFA meal options, USNA does a far better job of providing healthier options at all three meals, mostly because of their protein and salad bars at mandatory meals. At USAFA, it can be very difficult to find lean proteins, and the food tends to be incredibly calorie-dense at a lot of lunches at USAFA. I'm thinking of the days they serve creamy soups in breadbowls...sure, they're delicious and have enough calories, but the meal is almost completely carbs and fat. Same with grilled cheese days, and a handful of other meals.

    Something important to keep in mind is that the daily Mitch's menu is designed to be enough food for the larger athletes, so the caloric content of the entrees and sides at all meals reflect that. It comes out being an awkward mix sometimes, because the big guys are still hungry and eating seconds/thirds, and more average-sized cadets can end up inadvertently gaining some weight without eating that much food. I don't know if they still do it in the core biology class, but when I took it they had the USAFA nutritionist come and explain why the menu is designed the way it is. It really isn't one size fits all, so you have to figure out how much you need to eat and how to appropriately portion the Mitch's food.

    Unless it's changed a ton since when I was there last year, Monday and Friday lunches are "Mitch's favorites." Those days, they serve some of the unhealthiest entrees (fried chicken, grilled cheese, lasagna), but they serve a lighter entree that day (grilled chicken alongside the fried, for example.) The rest of the days, it's very hit or miss with the ability to get healthier options and make a full meal.

    The suggestion to get a vegetarian card isn't a bad idea at all.There's a nutritionist at USAFA who will meet with any cadet and help develop a more specific meal plan with what Mitch's has to offer. There's always a few cadets around that meal prep on the weekends at their sponsor's houses(I assume), so sometimes you'll see them bringing tupperware to Mitch's during lunch. It gets a lot easier when you can have a refrigerator, but most squadrons have a communal one for the lower two classes. Also, the nutrition facts for Mitch's food is available on the school intranet, so that's helpful too. I think most of those facts have been uploaded to MyFitnessPal as well.
     
  15. Tigger

    Tigger 5-Year Member

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    I disagree. Picky and healthy are two completely different things.

    Again, the cadets and recent grads know the challenges and ins and outs of eating healthy while at USAFA.

     
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  16. Tigger

    Tigger 5-Year Member

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    Funny. My first thought was that this young person is being proactive :)

     
  17. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna 5-Year Member

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    And yet, every spring, a decent number of first class cadets can be spotted in the gym on a last-ditch weight management program so they don't bust the waist measurement.
     
  18. wildblueyonder57

    wildblueyonder57 Member

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    Thank you that’s helpful. Do you know whether fitbits are allowed or not during the school year?
     
  19. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    I have been lurking on the sidelines for this discussion but had to jump in after reading @Pima's comment. But first, I have to say that the OP's question is fair and consistent with today's generation. Its amazing how college tours highlight dining halls and food options these days. The emphasis the admissions offices place on this aspect of college life tells me that applicants might make their decision on the food rather than the schooling. Great post by @BlahuKahuna.

    This isn't just an academy suggestion, it is a life lesson!

    That said, this is the Air Force we are talking about. Pima, having stayed in Visiting Officer Quarters and dining in the Officer's Club at several Air Force bases, I can tell you that the living is good and the food is better in the Air Force. They may care about their weight (and no one wants to be taped!) but they sure know how to wine and dine! ;)
     
  20. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna 5-Year Member

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    I would be extremely shocked if they weren't allowed, they didn't care about fitbits or smart watches when I was there.
     
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