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For Foodservice Professionals

Go for Green® is a food identification system designed to help you find foods to improve your performance. Warfighters must perform and excel at a professional level, just like any world-class athlete. Good nutrition helps the mission-readiness of our military. As a foodservice professional, you are critical to making this program work!

Foods are coded Green, Yellow, and Red to help diners choose foods that best fuel the performance of body and brain.

Perform Like a Champion!

High-Performance Foods Go: Eat often (every day or at every meal)
Moderate-Performance Foods Caution: Eat occasionally (select carefully and eat in moderation)
Performance-Limiting Foods

Stop/Limit: Eat rarely (once in a while)

How can 'Going for the "Green" ' (foods) help you perform?

  • Enhance Cognition
  • Delay Muscle Fatigue
  • Accelerate Recovery

What You Need to Know

Why G4G

What you need to know about Go for Green® depends on your job and what type of foodservice operation you work in. Regardless of your role in implementing Go for Green®, you can take better care of yourself too.

Poor nutrition can impair performance at work, in the gym, in the field, and in the classroom. It can also lead to being overweight and to chronic health conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes that negatively impact our Force Readiness. Good nutrition can improve the mental and physical performance of every service member.

MyPlate_Yellow [JPG]MyPlate

Try MyPlate at the dining facility. Keep in mind the picture of the “plate” and make:

  • ½ plate vegetables and fruit
  • ¼ plate grains and starchy vegetables
  • ¼ plate proteins
  • low-fat (skim or 1%) milk and yogurt

Go for Green® Program Criteria 2015 [PDF]

Warfighters, leaders, and healthcare professionals have the “Go for Green® Guide,” a one-page information sheet, to help them make food selections in dining facilities where the G4G program has been implemented (and elsewhere). But as a foodservice professional, you need to know a lot more about how to categorize the foods you prepare and serve. That’s where the Go for Green® Labeling Criteria guidelines come in, with extensive information about why foods are categorized Green, Yellow, and Red.

Go for Green® program criteria are based on the latest scientific literature and input from nutrition professionals. The Detailed Guide for Coders captures nutrient quality and wholesomeness. In addition, food and beverages are coded based on percent of calories from both total and saturated fat. The coding criteria for sodium (Low, Moderate, and High) express sodium levels and do not impact the assignment of a Green, Yellow, or Red code. 

Go for Green® Guide [PDF]

G4G Guide [JPG] This link will open a downloadable version of the G4G Guide provided to Warfighters, leaders, and healthcare professionals in their sections of this website, so you can be aware of what they are looking for. In addition, you can use this at home or elsewhere to guide your own food choices.


As a foodservice professional at a G4G facility you will be asked to categorize your recipes—and label the foods you serve—as Green, Yellow, or Red. Many recipes will be categorized for you.

Armed Forces Recipe Cards

As a foodservice professional at a G4G facility, your recipes will be categorized as Green, Yellow, or Red. Shift supervisors can ensure the appropriate serving sticker/label is applied to the foods you serve.

Recipes & Cooking Tips

Healthy Recipe Information and Resources

Web Links to Healthy Recipes

Disclaimer: These links are not endorsed by DoD, and not all of these recipes will fit Go for Green® criteria. Use the Guide to choose recipes that appear to fall into the “Green” most often.

Serving Line

Serving-line food labels
Foods should be labeled using these stickers/cards:

Menu Bus Card Green [JPG]Menu Bus Card Yellow [JPG]Menu Bus Card Red [JPG]

2x3.5 (business-card size) [DOC] [PDF]

  • Includes space for writing in recipe/food name.
  • Available as a sheet of “stickers” formatted for Avery 5371, 5372, etc. sheets, but can also be printed on card stock and cut to size.
  • 4 Green, 4 Yellow, and 2 Red per sheet.
  • Other formats and sizes available on request
Menu Label Green [JPG]Menu Label Yellow [JPG]Menu Label Red [JPG]

1x4 for color-coding only [Word] [PDF]

  • Suitable for pre-packaged/labeled foods.
  • Available as a sheet of “stickers” formatted for Avery 5261, 5961, or 8161 sheets, but can also be printed on card stock and cut to size.
  • 8 Green, 6 Yellow, and 6 Red per sheet.
  • Other formats and sizes available on request

    Tips for “prompting” diners
    Keep in mind the following tips when prompting a diner to choose another food item:

    • If you deliver the prompt with a smile and a friendly tone, the customer will likely interpret it as a friendly suggestion rather than an attempt to make them eat healthier.
    • One prompt is enough; guests will likely interpret a second attempt as being pushy.
    • If many people are waiting to get food from your station, try using with every fourth customer to avoid holding up the line.
    • One line worker each for entrees, vegetables, and short-order will conduct the prompts during service.
    • Prompts should be delivered using the G4G script as closely as possible.
    • Prompts are pre-scripted and memorized much like the fast-food drive-in approach that encourages a new item or special.
    • Healthy Food Prompts script [PDF].


    Background for you:

    Public-service announcements [PDF]
    Healthcare Talking Points [PDF]
    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) [PDF]

    Display – Public:

    G4G Guide [JPG] The G4G Guide [PDF]
    Posters (Downloadable letter-size; may require professional printing;
    larger sizes are available on request)
    G4G About Posters [JPG] About Go for Green® (two posters)
    G4G Food Posters Green [JPG]G4G Food Posters Green 2 [JPG] Green Foods (two posters)
    G4G Food Posters Yellow [JPG]G4G Food Posters Yellow 2 [JPG] Yellow Foods (two posters)
    G4G Food Posters Red [JPG]G4G Food Posters Red 2 [JPG] Red Foods (two posters)

    Table tents (Require professional printing)

    G4G Table Tent Army [JPG] Army
    G4G Table Tent Navy [JPG] Navy
    G4G Table Tent Air Force [JPG] Air Force [PDF]

    Electronic menu-board displays

    Pre-launch marketing display [PowerPoint]
    Digital promotion display [PowerPoint]

    Print/Display – Foodservice Staff only

    Foodservice Dos and Don’ts [PDF]
    Healthy Food Prompts [PDF]
    Healthy Recipe Substitutions [PDF]
    FAQs [PDF]
    G4G Background [JPG] Go for Green® Background [PDF]
    Serving-line stickers/cards can be found on the "Serving Line" tab here.
    Press KitMore Go for Green® print, display, and other promotional materials are available here.


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