Healthy power snacks are all the rage these days, particularly for busy nurses who are always on their feet. That’s because, between long hours and last-minute shift coverage, nurses (especially PRN nurses) need some go-to-snacks that they can prepare quickly and easily. And while meal prepping for lunches is handy, most nurses can expect around twenty to thirty minutes to break for a “midday meal.” That is to say, lunch breaks for busy nurses are short, and as far as nutrition goes, nibbling on some healthy power snacks periodically through your nursing shift will also help keep your energy levels high. Yes, string cheese and a handful of nuts are great power snacks, but let’s break out of the box a little, shall we?
Read on for some tasty, healthy, and simple power snacks for busy nurses. Are you a nurse on a vegan food plan? Don’t worry; we have plenty of snack ideas for you too!
Tasty Trail Mix
Trail mix is one of the easiest portable, protein-packed snacks that you can tailor to your taste buds. And while once reserved for hiking enthusiasts, trail mix has ventured from mountaineering backpacks into the handbags of busy professionals like nurses, looking for a healthy snack to munch on during shift breaks.
Trail mix usually consists of grains, seeds, nuts, and dried fruit. That said, you can modify the ingredients of trail mix to whatever your hungry heart desires. Like chocolate? Then, throw in some chocolate-covered raisins or raw cacao bits (great for vegans). Loco for coconuts? Try adding some shredded coconut to your trail mix. Ultimately, whatever you choose for ingredients, a trail mix power snack will keep you full and energized throughout your shift.
Ants on a Log (Celery Sticks with Crunchy Peanutbutter & Raisins)
Maybe you remember this sweet and silly little snack packed in your lunchbox from a young age, or perhaps it’s the first time you’ve heard of ants on a log. In either case, don’t be alarmed; we are not actually suggesting you eat ants—although some countries consider eating ants a delicacy. As a matter of fact, ants on a log is a vegan-friendly, energy-boosting, and easily portable snack that consists of a few celery sticks filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins (hence, ants on a log). We love ants on a log as a go-to nursing snack because they are healthy and just so easy to prepare. You can choose your nut butter filling (we love anything crunchy) and top it with raisins, cranberries, or any other dried fruit. The only drawback to ants on a log is that the peanut butter filling can get messy, so make sure you find a good container to carry your logs in. Super satisfying and fun, ants on a log are a creative snack to munch on during your nursing shift.
Bell Peppers & Hummus
Bell peppers are incredibly rich in vitamin C; paired with hummus, a good source of plant-based protein, this power snack is an excellent option for busy PRN nurses. Furthermore, hummus can be store-bought or homemade, and you can also tailor it to your liking. So while traditionally hummus is made from chickpeas, you can also make hummus from other beans such as pinto and white beans. Additionally, you can throw other ingredients into the hummus mix, such as red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto. All it takes is a good blender and about fifteen minutes to prepare an easy hummus recipe to make a deliciously creamy snack. Add some crisp red bell peppers, and voila—you have yourself an ideal pick-me-up snack for your next nursing shift.
A quinoa bowl can be a dynamic power snack for busy PRN nurses looking for a nutrient-rich and all-around satisfying snack or lunch. The best part about quinoa is that it is loaded with antioxidants and can even protect against heart disease. Moreover, quinoa is considered a complete protein and delivers to the body all nine essential amino acids. To top it off, quinoa is easy to make, and you can combine it with almost any type of fruit, meat, dairy, or greens. For example, try quinoa mixed with green apple (a breakfast porridge popular in Bolivia). Or, you can mix your quinoa with dried cranberries, bananas, seeds, and milk. Is your mouth watering yet? However you decide to prepare your quinoa, throwing together a bowl is a no-sweat snack to help curb your hunger and keep you alert when on shift.
Honorable Mentions: Avocado Toast and Cheeses
Okay, so although we said at the beginning that string cheese is a bit ordinary, it is one of the most practical to-go snacks out there. Furthermore, if you are a busy nurse, throwing a string of cheese or two in your handbag takes very little effort and can provide you with the perfect protein boost during your workday. Additionally, cottage cheese is a good source of protein and is notable for its high-calcium content—hello, bone health. If you’re vegan, packing some avocado toast to-go can help maintain your energy levels during your nursing shift as well.
Busy Nurses, Don’t Forget Your Healthy Snacks!
What’s that proverbial saying again? Oh yes—you are what you eat. So, when all is fed and done, providing your body with the right amount of nourishment will help you stay clear-headed and attentive at work, which is vital for any nurse on shift.
What foods nourish your mind and body as a nurse? Drop us a comment below and tell us your healthy power snack hacks for busy nurses.