The nature of nursing is all about caring for others. Because of the nature of the job, nurses often times sacrifice their own needs for their patients.
There are a lot of ways nurses can include healthy eating habits during their shifts to promote good energy, focus and overall nutrition.
Below are a few suggestions for staying on track nutritionally and for always feeling your best
- Plan target times for meals and snacks during shifts. “I’ll wait till things slow down,” may never come during some shifts and could contribute to mindless eating of junk food. Eating with intention will help curb those insatiable hunger attacks.
- Keep snacks on hand for those times when you aren't able to eat a full meal. This may be more often than not! Check out our “No Contact” snack ideas.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day. Try having 16 oz. of water before your shift, 16 oz. water with the shift meal, and 16 oz. of water while on the way home. This will help you stay on track for your daily hydration goals!
- Store items at work in your locker or in the fridge at the beginning of each week. This will help save time packing each day.
“No Contact” Snacks
Finding quick and easy snacks may help the busy nurse stay on track during a hectic shift. Listed below are a few suggestions for snacking that do not involve direct hand contact on the food. Preparing your food in plastic containers or plastic bags is an option for those who prefer homemade food varieties instead of individual packets from the grocery store.
- Banana with an individual packet of peanut or almond butter
- Individual packets of nuts or trail mix
- Yogurt smoothies or squeezable yogurt packets (child versions will work too!)
- Squeezable applesauce (child versions will work too!)
- Individual packets of raisins or prunes
- Granola or fruit bar (stay away from the bars loaded with sugar)
- String cheese
- Carton of milk or protein drink (doubles as hydration!)
Ashley Carpenter, a registered dietitian (R.D.), currently works with FirstHealth Fitness, assisting members, hospital staff and community members of all ages adopt healthier eating patterns. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition from East Carolina University and has been with FirstHealth since 2007.
Prior to joining FirstHealth, she worked as a dietitian in a variety of FirstHealth outpatient specialty programs, including the Bariatric Program, the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab programs, and the Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center. She also served as an inpatient dietitian at Moore Regional Hospital, where she worked with a variety of patients with complicated diagnoses.
Ashley is passionate about nutrition education and the prevention of chronic disease through a healthy diet and active lifestyle. When you meet with Ashley, you won’t get a “one-size-fits-all” plan that may not work for your lifestyle. She will develop an individualized plan to help you attain your fitness and nutrition goals.
She believes in keeping things simple and realistic to help people lead healthy lives.
For appointments and more information, call (910) 715-2674.