Brittney Wilson, BSN, RN, a bachelors-prepared registered nurse, is the founder and owner of The Nerdy Nurse® and TheNerdyNurse.com. Just grab your lunch bag and go. Weird hours be damned, I’m gonna help get you healthy. I usually start with chicken. Avoid food-boredom by trying new foods and including a few healthy treats too. Bringing a healthy lunch to your night shift is even more important than during the day shift. It feels like we never have time for ourselves. The best way to prepare for night shifts requires you to incorporate a number of items; food preparation, organize the household, inform close contacts of your schedule, transition your sleep pattern, prepare your bedroom for daytime sleeping, exercise and booking a social event. Don’t stress out over having a pretty lunchbox with all of the food groups. Others find some adjustments that work for them, and will do what they can to have a “normal” schedule when they aren’t working. Finally, if you really want to save yourself a ton of time, you can use a meal-planning service like eMeals. See who can fill a row first! Finish your shift with a light breakfast as the sun rises. Things always flow better when we have prepped ahead. When someone calls in sick and can’t make it to work, you’ll have no choice but to cover his shift. Julia Harrison has been a nurse for about six years and currently works eight-hour day shifts at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. I usually start with chicken. ©2020 Tara L. Bren dba TheLifestyleRN.com is a participant in the Amazon affiliate program which allows me to earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. Eat protein for your first meal at the beginning of your shift. I’m Tara Bren. Then have a small additional meal and snacks throughout the night. You juggle life between your school and clinicals. By consuming any of our content,  you agree that you will hold us harmless for actions you made as the result of the data. Stir fry, pasta, salads, zucchini fritters. Pack fruit or vegetable juices and protein-rich foods, such as boiled eggs, sandwiches made with turkey or chicken, or a muffin spread with cheese or peanut butter. (1) Breaks are a necessary part of protecting against burnout, and equally important, making sure a nurse gets adequate nutrition while on the job. Meal Prep Ideas for Nurses. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Shop Smart When Meal Prepping For Shifts. The whole point of meal prepping is to not only create a healthy diet, but to also save time AND money. The best fruits and veggies that pack well are: Finally, whole grains will give you energy that will last your entire shift. If you do this right, you should be able to make all your meals for the week in one day. We do a lot of salads so it meets his diet needs and we can both grab one to pack for lunch or as a quick snack. Eat normally except my lunch is at 03:00 not 13:00. 25+ Nurse Jokes That Will Have Your Nursing Friends Rolling, 15 Time-Saving Makeup Tips All Female Nurses Need. View all posts by tarabren. Finding a quick and easy to pack lunches for nurses can seem overwhelming. Do you need help to stay motivated and fit working night shifts? Eating healthy at work is possible, and it doesn’t have to be a lot of extra work. Empty Nester. Invention. There are so many easy ones. We'll never sell or share your email address. I’m here to shout from the rooftops about the night shift nurse essentials that will make your life so much easier. Ever.). We will never spam you. For most nurses, meals are something that's grabbed quickly – if at all – and eaten in a rush. What foods to avoid on a 12 hour or night shift. Keep your pantry stocked with a variety of things that are shelf-stable. Sit down and plan the week together Take some time at the beginning of your week to plan a dinner for each night. Dog Mom. As nurses that can be hard. It’s ok to pack pre-packaged fruit in a cup. How night shift meals can affect your health? I personally love finding ideas on Pinterest. If you're working a night shift, try having your "main meal" before you leave, between 5-6 pm. You can save lots of time by preparing an entire week’s worth of lunches on your day off. It’s also really important to pay attention to how you are sleeping during the day, too. Things always flow better when we have prepped ahead. We don’t make too many ahead as we just have the four little bottles. Now that you know some ideas and tips for healthy meal prepping, let’s look at exactly what to pack in your lunch. Some healthy snack ideas that are easy to grab and go include: If your body doesn’t like to eat the same things at night than it does during the day, here are some ideas of what to put in your lunchbox. Whole grains take longer to digest than over-processed carbs like white bread or pasta. When you don’t sleep well, your body’s hunger hormones elevate and this causes you to crave high-calorie foods. Some people prefer to just cook up one type of meat because it’s easiest. Then, all you have to do is go grocery shopping and do the prep. For many reasons, I had to return to work full-time, which for me is 40 hours/week. New Nurse. It can go into the oven like this, or you can cook it faster in the Instant Pot (which I love…seriously; Best. Workout routines for a 12 hour or night shift. This does not increase your purchase cost in any way. Is Fast Food The Only Option During Busy Days? When you are short on time but still want to eat healthily, meal prep is the answer. Think about things like nut and seed bars, mixed nuts, parmesan cheese crisps, and jerky. Pistachio and dill chicken salad from Mom Unleased; Tuna avocado lettuce wraps from Flour On My Face Sit down and make a plan. This will give you long-lasting energy and make you more alert. Whether you are vegan or don’t mind eating meat, there are some fantastic ways to pack a protein in your lunch. Pack some bacon jerky, for example, along with some flavored mixed nuts. Nurses’ schedules can change from time to time. Nursing students, you have an entirely different challenge when it comes to meal prep. Are you maintaining healthy habits? Aside from filling your tummy, frozen foods offer These meal prep tips for busy people – like nurses – are just what you need. Then they just package it differently each day. It’s a vicious cycle. Meal prep for night shift nurses (or any shift workers) is not as hard as it might seem. Some healthy snack ideas that are easy to grab and go include: Apples and almond butter; Protein bars; Cheese … End your shift with a meal that contains carbohydrates to help promote sleep. Meal prep for night shift nurses (or any shift workers) is not as hard as it might seem. Eat your “main” meal before your shift and limit yourself to only filling, easily digestible snacks overnight, if you get hungry. These are the specific types of foods that are easy to prepare and will give you healthy and filling lunches. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NLnlPs-m58. Ever.). Eat one or two healthy snacks instead of one large meal If you work afternoons, try to eat your largest meal in the middle of the day. The most time-consuming part of meal prepping is cooking the meat. Here are some meal prep tips just for you. Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription. We use these reusable salad containers with lids, in both the circular bowl and rectangular shape. I began pursuing my lifelong dream of a nursing career at the age of 41. Learn how your comment data is processed. Write down what you are going to pack for your lunch every day for a week. The best things to pack for your nigh shift are fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. The most important thing is to take care of yourself. You’ll be less likely to grab drive-through food when you actually enjoy what you packed yourself. I usually prep one light option and one heavy option so that I feel like I have a bit of choice. He’s lost 80 lbs so far and I’m so proud of him! Eat your "main meal" before your shift This will help keep you fuelled for the next 12 hours. You can try freezing pasta, chicken meals or even just fruits and vegetables. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *. What not to do? Some of the things to keep on hand that you can grab and go (and won’t go bad in your lunch box) are: Next, it’s important to keep your pantry stocked with a variety of things. Or maybe you're just curious what it is like to work in the night? Since the odds of wanting to invest time and energy into a great meal after a tiring shift are slim, every trick you can pull out of your sleeve increases your chances of sticking to your goals. Brittney is the author of, Interviews and Press, Awards and Mentions. I’ve lost 70 pounds and I’ve reclaimed my life. When you work the night shift, your snacky side will come out. We strive for accuracy, but cannot be held responsible for the current validity of data as best practices are ever-changing. Hello everyone! Here are two tips that are specific for night shift nurses. Adopting a ‘grazing’ approach towards eating while working the night shift is also suggested, meaning a nurse consumes smaller, more frequent light meals with raw salads, nuts, fruit, and vegetables. It seems like when we are tired, we reach for the “fun” foods faster – the chips, pizza rolls, and donuts. Jan 27, 2017 - Finding a quick and easy to pack lunches for nurses can seem overwhelming. The night shift is an entirely different monster. My husband and I have been meal prepping for about a year now, on and off. You already know that eating right will give you sustained energy for your entire shift, so let’s look at how to do that. If you work nights, eat lightly throughout your shift and then have a small to moderate-sized breakfast. One of the biggest tips I have for Whole30 meal prepping for overnights is to prep for one more day beyond your stretch of work days (nights). 25 best meal prep ideas for health professionals. Prepare for it by packing healthy snacks that will give you sustained energy all night long. These are all the secrets about meal-prepping that will save you time and help you eat healthy at work. Our digestive system and body clock have not evolved with time, so eating when it’s dusk or dawn are good cues for night shift workers. Opt for well-balanced meals that include high-protein, complex carbohydrate, and low-fat foods. Every lunch needs protein. That’s why meal prepping is such a lifesaver! One of the biggest adjustments after the birth of my twins was going back to work. These are perfect for busy nurses (and other health professionals – anyone really…). The best meal prep tip I can give you is to do what fits your lifestyle. These meal prep tips will help RNs eat healthy for the entire week. All depends on the mood. Base your grocery store shopping list based off of your meals. Meal Plan for a Shift Worker – Night Shift. She is the co-founder of Health Media Academy and is an award-winning author and blogger, international keynote speaker, and influencer in the nursing and healthcare technology communities. But they wash well and get refilled quickly. When you work the night shift, your snacky side will come out. It can go into the oven like this, or you can cook it faster in the Instant Pot (which I love…seriously; Best. Nurses are often so dedicated to their jobs they work right through lunch breaks and night shift snack breaks. Sugary, high-calorie foods might be what you crave, but they won’t keep you very full and you will crave more of them. After you have your meals planned out, you can make a shopping list and create a list of how you are going to pack them. If you’re ready to take control of your health, lose weight, and get your life back, download the free healthy habits checklist. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Content on this site is for entertainment purposes and does not constitute medical advice. See our disclaimer for more information. You might not have a refrigerator for your lunch box. Quick and Easy Packable Lunches for Nurses. Prepare for it by packing healthy snacks that will give you sustained energy all night long. Now I’m a new nurse at 44 and reevaluating how to balance a rewarding (but demanding) career and having a life outside of work. The Nerdy Nurse is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Night shift meals can lead to numerous health problems, especially when accompanied with an unhealthy lifestyle. Large night shift meals will make you sleepy and encourage additional weight gain. Next, fresh fruits and vegetables will give you a natural source of sugar for extra energy. All links on this site may be affiliate links and should be considered as such. When you work full-time, it’s tough to find some to figure out what to pack for lunch. My husband is doing the Code Red Diet (similar to keto). Eat small meals or snack repeatedly on small amounts of food during your night shift. This it my night shift nurse routine before my 3 nights in a row! AMs, PMs, Late Earlies, Night Duty… So prepare all those meals for the week in advance with this list of easy and healy meal prep ideas for health professionals. 12 hour shifts dont' leave much time in the day for meal prep, so quick is a must Whats up y'allllll!! Liven up any shift with a fun game of bingo. Rice, nuts, tinned tuna, frozen veggies, oats and frozen chicken breast etc…This way you will never be short of a healthy, filling meal. Busy people in all professions have looked to the slow-cooker as their meal prepping game-changer. If you prefer variety, then give yourself a little extra time and cook a few different types of meat. This next step will help you bust through meal-planning in no time at all. For more meal prep ideas, please visit my Pinterest page for recipes and more (all kinds of nurse-y type stuff). I work as a nurse practitioner in a level I trauma center emergency department. When I’m packing my lunch, I grab a salad, some dressing, a yogurt and a piece of fruit and I’m good to go! There are shelf-stable things that are still good for you. Instead, pack some low-carb snacks that won’t go bad in your lunch bag. Your privacy is protected. A bad diet will only worsen the condition further. Here are some more nurse lifestyle articles you’ll enjoy next! Meal prepping can help you make better food decisions, but don’t let it stress you out. Shift work can be physically and mentally tiring. For example, they might put some chopped chicken on a bed of lettuce one day, and make a chicken caesar wrap the next. To stop yourself from turning to junk foods and unhealthy foods, it’s wise if you can have a batch of healthy freezer meals on stock. This day/night in my life was so fun to film! The problem gets worse for those who don’t get enough time to sleep restfully. Honestly I meal prep the same stuff I would do for day shift. Just make sure and pick the ones packed in water, not syrup, in case you are watching your weight or calories. Your email address will not be published. Create a meal plan for a 12-hour shift that will sustain your energy and help you achieve any health goals. I am a new nurse and I love night shift, but I am freaked out about the health consequences of flipping back and forth all the time.” This question has popped up more than once, so I thought I’d share in detail what my work schedule looks like, and how I’ve managed to cope with working night shifts for over a decade. These services will give you a week’s worth of meal ideas and a shopping list. It is annoying to do this, but it’s much less annoying doing it once rather than every night of the week. Fill a whole card and lose grip with reality. However, she also spent two years working 12-hour night shifts. Then eat small, frequent snacks throughout the night, alternating a lean protein with a carbohydrate, to keep you awake and satisfied. I started off just prepping through my last shift and thinking that that day I got off work I’d go grocery shopping and/or meal prep, but quickly learned that’s just not the case. ( all kinds of nurse-y type stuff ) list emailed to meal prep for night shift nurse and just pack my food having... Bsn, RN, a bachelors-prepared registered nurse, is the founder and owner of the in... We 'll never sell or share your email address encourage additional weight gain hours straight ( or more before. Refrigerator for your first meal at the age of 41 fuelled for the next time I.. Work as a nurse practitioner in a cup you fuelled for the week to. Years working 12-hour night shifts meal and snacks throughout the night shift your cost. Especially when accompanied with an unhealthy lifestyle currently works eight-hour day shifts at Pennsylvania Hospital Philadelphia! 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