Nurses are exceptionally busy on the job.
There is no doubt that they are continuously on the move with few breaks for basic self-care. Many nurses are guilty of skipping meals altogether if the shift dictates that there is not enough time to stop and eat a nutritious lunch. Naturally skipping or skimping on meals takes a major toll on overall health, energy level and ability to think clearly. Ideally, a nurse should never sacrifice their meal time, but it unfortunately does happen at times. In these instances, it is helpful to pack easy to access, quick snacks that can satisfy hunger and provide sustenance on even the busiest of shifts. Without healthy snacks available, it’s all too easy to rely on empty caloric snacks from the vending machine, or even that tempting tray of cookies brought in by a gracious patient’s family member. While these are also convenient snacks, they offer little in terms of meeting nutritional needs and providing sustenance! Below are 5 snacks to consider keeping on hand for times when you can’t sit down for a full meal.
5 Snacks to Keep Handy
Nuts are a great option for a quick snack because they are portable, healthy (when kept within serving size recommendations), and full of quality proteins and fats that will satisfy hunger. The best options for nuts are those that are in the raw. Avoid those cooked in oil, or honey roasted options, as these provide less nutritional quality. Ideal choices include almonds, cashews, and pistachios. One serving of these nuts provides around 14 grams of protein that will help qualm a grumbly stomach.
Raw almonds are the best option if you’re weight watching
Another winner because of its excellent protein content, an average single serve cup can provide between 12 and 20 grams of protein. Not only is it nutritious, but it’s easy to eat on the go and also comes in a variety of delicious flavors. Several brands are available to choose from. The best and most healthy option is the 0% fat plain greek yogurt, which is easily sweetened with fresh fruit or even a scoop of peanut butter or hazelnut spread!
If you don’t add anything to it, it’s more advisable to get a 2% plain yogurt
Hard Boiled Eggs
The thing that makes this such a great choice is the cost effectiveness and convenience. For any nurse that prefers to avoid processed or packaged food, eggs are an exception choice. One hard boiled egg only contains around 75 calories, but offers 6 grams of protein to satisfy hunger. This is a snack that is easy to prepare and keep a few on hand!
The whites are a good source of vitamin D, B6 and B12 as well as selenium and minerals
Made of chickpeas, tahini and olive oil, hummus is the go-to snack for many people with a taste for savory flavors! It is available fresh or pre-packaged at most grocery stores and comes in many flavors to satisfy almost anyone’s taste buds. It is rich in both fiber and protein (5 grams per quarter cup), and can be enjoyed as a dip for fresh vegetables, crackers or pita chips.
This healthy food dates back to the 13th century and is still very popular
Turkey is an excellent choice for a quick snack. It is one of the healthiest lean meats and is available at the deli counter for ultimate convenience. Be mindful of sodium content, as many prepackaged meats have higher than ideal levels of sodium. Most deli counters do offer low sodium versions. Have it sliced on the thicker side and roll it into a spiral for a quick protein boost. One serving of sliced turkey can offer up to 18 grams of protein, which provides a great nutritional punch to help sustain nurses. For an extra protein boost, roll the turkey slice around a stick of string cheese!
Watch out for Deli turkey, though, as it’s often loaded with sodium to add flavor and improve shelf life.