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Performance Nutrition for Fresh Feeding during Military Training and Operations

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Human Factors and Medicine

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Eating, Fresh Feeding, Military Rations, Performance Nutrition


Much work has been done by STO to standardise the requirements for operational rations, but there are still significant differences in the nutritional quality and variety of foods provided in fresh feeding operations. Recent deployment of forces to partner nations identified significant gaps between the expectations of deployed units and the food provided by host nation feeding. In joint operations, fresh feeding is provided by a certain nation for soldiers from different participating nations. Among the soldiers there are cultural, ethnic, religious and other differences that influence eating habits. These have not been addressed yet in joint operations. No minimum standards have been set so far to prescribe the variety and quantity of food that needs to be offered. Research regarding the relationship between nutrition and human performance for particular micronutrients is ongoing in several nations, but there is a lack of general data with regard to the optimal energy and nutrition requirements during initial military training. This information is critical to ensure that an optimal nutritional baseline is established. Beside nutritional guidelines, which do not differ greatly from guidelines for operational rations, food based guidelines are needed. Historically, research on military nutrition and food preferences has been based on a predominantly male population. With the increased integration of female soldiers, there is a need to identify any gender specific considerations that would shape future military nutritional guidelines.


The main objectives of that research should be to 1) Standardise the requirements for nutrition and food variety in fresh feeding operations, 2) Establish the optimal energy and nutritional requirements for fresh feeding in training exercises, 3) Establish food based requirements for fresh feeding, and 4) Identify gender specific considerations for military nutritional guidelines.


• Fresh feeding nutritional requirements • Increased cognitive and physical performance with adequate nutrition • Food based dietary guidelines for joint operations • Gender, age, cultural, religious etc. specific nutrition and eating patterns and habits

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