Honestly I meal prep the same stuff I would do for day shift. The best meal prep tip I can give you is to do what fits your lifestyle. This it my night shift nurse routine before my 3 nights in a row! Julia Harrison has been a nurse for about six years and currently works eight-hour day shifts at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. Meal prep for night shift nurses (or any shift workers) is not as hard as it might seem. It’s a vicious cycle. If you prefer variety, then give yourself a little extra time and cook a few different types of meat. 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. Eating healthy at work is possible, and it doesn’t have to be a lot of extra work. Quick and Easy Packable Lunches for Nurses. Whats up y'allllll!! Keep your pantry stocked with a variety of things that are shelf-stable. The most time-consuming part of meal prepping is cooking the meat. A bad diet will only worsen the condition further. Brittney is the author of, Interviews and Press, Awards and Mentions. 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. Shift work can be physically and mentally tiring. Nurses’ schedules can change from time to time. You already know that eating right will give you sustained energy for your entire shift, so let’s look at how to do that. Eat normally except my lunch is at 03:00 not 13:00. All depends on the mood. Finish your shift with a light breakfast as the sun rises. Shop Smart When Meal Prepping For Shifts. When you work the night shift, your snacky side will come out. End your shift with a meal that contains carbohydrates to help promote sleep. Whether you are vegan or don’t mind eating meat, there are some fantastic ways to pack a protein in your lunch. Your email address will not be published. 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. Shift work disorder is a condition that mostly affects night shift workers. I’m here to shout from the rooftops about the night shift nurse essentials that will make your life so much easier. Don’t stress out over having a pretty lunchbox with all of the food groups. How night shift meals can affect your health? Do you need help to stay motivated and fit working night shifts? What foods to avoid on a 12 hour or night shift. I began pursuing my lifelong dream of a nursing career at the age of 41. Rice, nuts, tinned tuna, frozen veggies, oats and frozen chicken breast etc…This way you will never be short of a healthy, filling meal. Sit down and make a plan. It is annoying to do this, but it’s much less annoying doing it once rather than every night of the week. We'll never sell or share your email address. 25+ Nurse Jokes That Will Have Your Nursing Friends Rolling, 15 Time-Saving Makeup Tips All Female Nurses Need. I did some research and found a lot of different lunches for nurses that either requires a little preparation the night before or can be made and ready the morning (or evening) before a shift. We don’t make too many ahead as we just have the four little bottles. Invention. The night shift is an entirely different monster. These meal prep tips for busy people – like nurses – are just what you need. I work as a nurse practitioner in a level I trauma center emergency department. These meal prep tips will help RNs eat healthy for the entire week. Or maybe you're just curious what it is like to work in the night? It seems like when we are tired, we reach for the “fun” foods faster – the chips, pizza rolls, and donuts. This does not increase your purchase cost in any way. Next, fresh fruits and vegetables will give you a natural source of sugar for extra energy. Just grab your lunch bag and go. Here are some more nurse lifestyle articles you’ll enjoy next! As nurses that can be hard. Hello everyone! All links on this site may be affiliate links and should be considered as such. Opt for well-balanced meals that include high-protein, complex carbohydrate, and low-fat foods. While mealtimes may vary with the shift, avoid going longer than 6 hours between meals. Aside from filling your tummy, frozen foods offer Then have a small additional meal and snacks throughout the night. The whole point of meal prepping is to not only create a healthy diet, but to also save time AND money. Workout routines for a 12 hour or night shift. ©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. However, she also spent two years working 12-hour night shifts. See who can fill a row first! But they wash well and get refilled quickly. Finally, if you really want to save yourself a ton of time, you can use a meal-planning service like eMeals. These services will give you a week’s worth of meal ideas and a shopping list. Invention. Have you seen those pretty little meal prep lunch boxes online and ever wondered how they do it? For example, they might put some chopped chicken on a bed of lettuce one day, and make a chicken caesar wrap the next. For more meal prep ideas, please visit my Pinterest page for recipes and more (all kinds of nurse-y type stuff). Then eat small, frequent snacks throughout the night, alternating a lean protein with a carbohydrate, to keep you awake and satisfied. For most nurses, meals are something that's grabbed quickly – if at all – and eaten in a rush. Finding a quick and easy to pack lunches for nurses can seem overwhelming. 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. Things always flow better when we have prepped ahead. Weird hours be damned, I’m gonna help get you healthy. by Howard Gerber on June 25, 2019. I usually prep one light option and one heavy option so that I feel like I have a bit of choice. There are so many easy ones. I usually start with chicken. Then you can prep into containers with rice and veggies or slice it up into salads (or both!). Early shift - click here (6am - 2pm) Late shift – click here (2pm - 10pm) Night shift – below (10pm-6am) If your shift hours are different, adjust meal timings on the plans appropriately. Meal Prep Ideas for Nurses. Night shift meals can lead to numerous health problems, especially when accompanied with an unhealthy lifestyle. 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. It feels like we never have time for ourselves. You won’t have to think about lunches for nurses before your shift. Your email address will not be published. Whole grains take longer to digest than over-processed carbs like white bread or pasta. Instead, pack some low-carb snacks that won’t go bad in your lunch bag. Meal Plan for a Shift Worker – Night Shift. Then, all you have to do is go grocery shopping and do the prep. 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. It’s so nice to have the list emailed to me and just pack my food without having to think about it. Write down what you are going to pack for your lunch every day for a week. I personally love finding ideas on Pinterest. If you’re ready to take control of your health, lose weight, and get your life back, download the free healthy habits checklist. Base your grocery store shopping list based off of your meals. When you don’t sleep well, your body’s hunger hormones elevate and this causes you to crave high-calorie foods. Your privacy is protected. When someone calls in sick and can’t make it to work, you’ll have no choice but to cover his shift. Ever.). 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. Pack some bacon jerky, for example, along with some flavored mixed nuts. 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. Is Fast Food The Only Option During Busy Days? 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. 12 hour shifts dont' leave much time in the day for meal prep, so quick is a must The best fruits and veggies that pack well are: Finally, whole grains will give you energy that will last your entire shift. 25 best meal prep ideas for health professionals. Others find some adjustments that work for them, and will do what they can to have a “normal” schedule when they aren’t working. Now that you know some ideas and tips for healthy meal prepping, let’s look at exactly what to pack in your lunch. Busy people in all professions have looked to the slow-cooker as their meal prepping game-changer. What liquid calories will help your 12 hour or night shift. Dog Mom. It can go into the oven like this, or you can cook it faster in the Instant Pot (which I love…seriously; Best. We will never spam you. Prepare for it by packing healthy snacks that will give you sustained energy all night long. Nursing students, you have an entirely different challenge when it comes to meal prep. Things always flow better when we have prepped ahead. If you work nights, eat lightly throughout your shift and then have a small to moderate-sized breakfast. Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription. View all posts by tarabren. Just make sure and pick the ones packed in water, not syrup, in case you are watching your weight or calories. Take the Nurse Blogging 101 online course, Best Nurse Backpack for Work – Knack Backpack Review, Best Shoes for Nurses – 20+ Recommended Nursing Shoes for Women, Gifts for Nurses: All The Best Nurse Gift Ideas in One Place, How to Pass the NCLEX with 75 Questions in One Attempt, Most Popular Shoes for Nurses: Alegria Clog, The Best Stethoscope For Nurses – The Ultimate Guide to Nurse Stethoscopes, Use summer sausage and cheese as your protein, Chef salad – fresh lettuce, hardboiled egg, chicken, chopped carrots, sunflower seeds, Whole-wheat pita – filled with chicken, avocado, spinach, with an apple on the side. Eat your "main meal" before your shift This will help keep you fuelled for the next 12 hours. Stay up for 12 hours straight (or more) before your night shift. That’s why meal prepping is such a lifesaver! Meal prep for night shift nurses (or any shift workers) is not as hard as it might seem. See our disclaimer for more information. Avoid food-boredom by trying new foods and including a few healthy treats too. Content on this site is for entertainment purposes and does not constitute medical advice. Learn how your comment data is processed. The most important thing is to take care of yourself. Nurses are often so dedicated to their jobs they work right through lunch breaks and night shift snack breaks. When you work the night shift, your snacky side will come out. We use these reusable salad containers with lids, in both the circular bowl and rectangular shape. 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. Required fields are marked *. Some night-shift nurses try to keep the same wake hours and bedtime on their days off, so their body doesn’t have to keep readjusting. New Nurse. (1) Breaks are a necessary part of protecting against burnout, and equally important, making sure a nurse gets adequate nutrition while on the job. This day/night in my life was so fun to film! Eat your “main” meal before your shift and limit yourself to only filling, easily digestible snacks overnight, if you get hungry. I usually start with chicken. Then they just package it differently each day. Large night shift meals will make you sleepy and encourage additional weight gain. Sit down and plan the week together Take some time at the beginning of your week to plan a dinner for each night. I don’t know about you, but after making tons of important decisions all week, sometimes I just don’t feel like making another one. The best things to pack for your nigh shift are fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. These are perfect for busy nurses (and other health professionals – anyone really…). Ever.). Whatever method you use to cook it, add spices, garlic, lemon or lime juice, whatever tastes good to you. When you work full-time, it’s tough to find some to figure out what to pack for lunch. 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