Looking for good snack ideas for nurses on the job? If so, it’s important to consider energy and nutrition when choosing snacks in addition to convenience. It’s also smart to try and stick with snacks that don’t have to be refrigerated. Why? Because then you don’t have to worry about keeping the snacks cold at work or home.
Plus, when you don’t have to refrigerate snacks, you can always wrap one up, keep it on you, and eat when you most need it. This is particularly of advantage to nurses who might not get regular breaks.
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Read on to learn why it’s a common problem for nurses not to take breaks and how prepping and eating certain snacks can help keep you healthy and alert.
Why is eating healthy important for nurses?
Vanessa Patricelli with STAT News says it’s a common problem for nurses not to take breaks or lunches, and when this happens, patient care levels suffer and nurse burnout increases. The easy solution is to simply just take a break, but more times than not, this solution isn’t feasible.
Patricelli goes on to say “Ideally, nurses scheduled for 12-hour shifts should get a minimum of three 15-minute breaks and one uninterrupted meal period. Many hospital policies offer this as a guideline. But the reality of patient demands and short-staffed units means we are lucky to get five minutes to ourselves.”
If you aren’t getting the breaks you need to perform a nursing job to your best ability, it’s pertinent to speak with your nurse supervisor. Beyond that, you can always prep and bring your own snacks to keep you healthy and alert at work. Here’s a look at the top three snacks for nurses that are sure to give you energy, nutrition, and convenience.
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If you have access to a microwave at work, you can’t go wrong with keeping a couple bags of popcorn on you at all times. Although not the most fulfilling, popcorn is a healthy snack. Best of all, you don’t have to prep it. All you have to do is buy it from the store, toss a couple bags in your purse, and head to the microwave when it’s convenient to pop the kernels and enjoy a snack.
Important to keep in mind, though, is that popcorn at the movies is very different from the popcorn we’re talking about being a healthy snack. American Heart Association News reveals “when it’s air-popped and lightly seasoned, popcorn is an efficiently healthy snack. That’s because it is a whole grain, and high-fiber whole grains have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and other health problems.”
It’s also wise to stick with lightly-seasoned popcorn because nurses get better control over how much seasoning, salt and butter to add afterward. This means you can season the popcorn any way you want to keep it extra healthy.
Another cheap and healthy portable snack is string cheese. You can buy it at the grocery store, in the airport when traveling for work, at the gas station on the way to work, and lots of other places. String cheese is super easy to keep in your pocket and it doesn’t require refrigeration. If you can’t get time to take a break, you can tuck a few pieces of string cheese away in the front pocket of your scrubs and eat them as you’re doing paperwork or walking to a patient’s room.
Brianna Steinhilber with EverydayHealth says, “One stick of part-skim string cheese has 80 calories and a whopping 8 grams of protein, plus a dose of calcium without the high saturated fat content of other cheese varieties. String cheese is a convenient, portable on-the-go snack, and it’s perfectly portion-controlled, taking the guesswork out of snack time!”
Another one of our favorite things about eating string cheese as a snack for nurses is that you can get it in an assortment of flavors like pepper jack, mozzarella, natural cheddar, Monterey jack cheese, jalapeño, tomato basil, and more.
Carrots, Celery and Snap Peas
Throw a few carrots, pieces of celery, and five to 10 snap peas on one side of a resealable, divided container and fill the other side with a salad dressing or dipping sauce of your choice. Carrots, celery and snap peas have to be refrigerated, but they’re definitely one of the more convenient and healthier snacks on our list.
Just remember, keep your dipping sauce as fat-free and light as possible to make the snack even healthier. When you get a chance to slide into the breakroom, dip a few veggie pieces into your dipping sauce and enjoy.
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