Aged Care Leader wins Outstanding Contribution AwardJuly 20, 2023
Winter Wellness ChallengeAugust 7, 2023
As a nurse working shifts, it is no secret how both physically and emotionally demanding it can be. Understandably, it is often more convenient to reach for a handful of chips, an energy drink or load up on caffeine, rather than to plan more nutritious and healthy snacks and meals to bring for a shift. Sometimes knowing what foods are the most nutrient rich and beneficial to bring on shift can be part of the struggle.
If you’re a nurse or health care worker working shifts and are struggling with low energy levels or lack of mental clarity, here are a few food suggestions to bring with you on your next shift:
Overnight oats – a great breakfast or snack option that can be prepared the night before, if you’re short for time in the mornings. Oats are a great source of fibre and protein, and can be made in water or milk depending on preference. Top with some berries, peanut butter and chia seeds and you’re good to go!
Protein with a side of veg – including protein in your lunch or dinner can ensure fullness for the remainder of a shift. Protein can include chicken, steak or salmon, for example, finished off with a side of broccoli, spinach or tomato and cucumber to ensure greens intake as well.
Fruit – there are so many different fruit options that make easy, nutritious snacks when working shifts. Fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and cherries are high in antioxidants and low in carbohydrates.
Protein shake – a protein shake is a great way to increase your protein intake and provide a steady energy source for the duration of a shift. So many different elements can be added into a protein shake including yoghurt, chia seeds and fruit.
Wholegrain sandwiches – sandwiches are another convenient lunch option that with the right filling can make for a nutritious food choice. Opting for wholegrain bread ensures more fibre is consumed, and including a protein such as turkey, chicken or tuna, along with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado and cheese makes for a balanced meal.
Nuts – a handful of nuts a few times throughout your shift makes for a very quick and easy snack option that is packed full of protein and healthy fats!
Yoghurt – greek yoghurt in particular contains a great amount of probiotics as well as protein, helping you to feel fuller for longer. Add some fruit, granola or even a few dark chocolate chips and you have a perfect light breakfast or snack!
It is important to remember to not only consume nutritious foods such as the ones mentioned here, but to avoid sugar rich and processed foods, as these can increase tiredness and reduce energy levels. Also ensuring that plenty of water is drunk throughout your shift and avoiding energy drinks and excessive amounts of caffeine particularly before sleep is crucial for a successful shift.
At Altaira, we strongly encourage our aged care workers to look after their wellbeing. Visit the following for more self-care tips: Self Care Tips for Nurses – Altaira Services