Nix the Vending Machines! 10 Healthy Snacks for Nurses

Many nurses work long days – 12 hour shifts can be typical. Don’t neglect your body while taking care of others. Taking that short break to enjoy a healthy snack can revive you and keep you going, long after you would otherwise feel frazzled and run down. Few nurses we know want to risk running out of energy.


There are several important factors to keep in mind when choosing a good, healthy snack for a nurse. It can’t just be something tasty and healthy. That snack also needs to be portable and one that fits into your budget nicely, as nurses are going to regularly buy snacks to bring to work. So you won’t find sushi rolls on our list, even though this is a healthy snack, it is one that will drain your wallet quickly and certainly doesn’t meet the portable requirement very easily (sushi is a bit fragile, only good for a day or so). Get ready to enjoy some delicious snacks!


String cheese – this is one of the simplest snacks you can choose that also offers a lot of flavor. Pack 2 low-fat string cheese for about 100 calories. Or pair one string cheese with a small piece of fruit for a nice combination of fiber and dairy. (It will need to be refrigerated)


Greek yogurt – now this snack is a bit more expensive than your typical, everyday yogurt but we decided to keep it on our list because Greek yogurt is packed with protein and the calorie count is low – about 150 calories for a 6 oz serving. You’ll find plain yogurt as well as plain with honey and yogurt with fruit for some nice variety. Many nurses enjoy Greek yogurt because it has a creamy, thick texture and it is like enjoying a real treat.


Chocolate milk – if you have a sweet tooth, chocolate milk is an excellent snack to grab. You’ll find small – about 4 to 6 oz sized servings or larger. That’s about 150 calories. Look for low fat chocolate milk and this is a great way to sneak a serving of dairy into your day. Especially during the holidays when everyone is digging into tempting treats, it is nice to enjoy something sweet – like chocolate milk! You can also find strawberry flavored milk too (just check the sugar content to be sure it isn’t too high)!


Fresh fruit – Mother Nature offers you one of the best snacking options, with lots of colorful variety. Most servings of fruit are 100 to 150 calories or under. Filled with vitamins and fiber, this is the perfect portable snack that is easy to eat on-the-go. Try the budget-friendly banana that is also rich with potassium. Or the sunny naval orange filled with Vitamin C to keep colds at bay, this fruit is in season in winter. Or treat yourself to making a fruit salad in the start of the week and bring in a cup of fruit salad each day for your snack, don’t add sugar to sweeten, just use ½ a cup of orange juice!


Fresh vegetables – Another treat from Mother Nature and a terrific snacking option, especially when you are tempted to have something crunchy! Try baby carrots, snap peas, cutting up broccoli for a snack or even celery stalks.


Dried fruit – This can be a sweet and healthy snack filled with fiber. Remember that dried fruit can be higher in calories, so eat a smaller serving that you would have vs. a piece of fresh fruit. Otherwise enjoy! You’ll find many fruits are dried and available to eat.


Nuts – Experts agree that nuts in moderation are an excellent way to improve your diet. People who snack on a small number of nuts actually have fewer cravings than others who do not. Try raw or natural nuts and go for lightly salted or unsalted nuts if you can, they are the healthier option.


Help Your Patients Make the Most of Visitors During The Holidays

Help Your Patients Make the Most of Visitors During The Holidays


Whether your patients are in the hospital or under your care in their homes as a private nurse, it isn’t fun being sick during the holidays. But what is most important is that a patient gets better – and visitors need to understand how to be the best type of visitor during this merry and jolly season. Some may be tempted to bring a bottle of champagne to ring in the New Year and have “just a little glass” but for someone on medication that doesn’t mix with alcohol; this can be a great risk. Your patients are counting on you – whether they realize it or not – to help guide them and their visitors to understand how to visit and what type of gifts are okay to bring.


Sometimes the best gift of all is not a “present” but simply to give your “presence.” Many who are sick love to have a visitor. Depending on their medical condition, they may not be permitted to have certain foods or plants. If they are ill but permitted to have visitors it may be easiest to let visitors know to just come and spend time with their loved one.


Share photos or videos. Today’s technology makes it so much easier to keep in touch with that soon-to-be new mom or grandma while she is on the mend. Encourage loved ones to bring photos in frames or in their phones to share, or videos to show their loved ones.


Offering a helping hand while someone is sick can often be quite welcomed. Many who are sick worry about their daily life, and how smoothly all is running in their absence. If you tell loved ones they could offer to walk the dog, feed the cat or take their children on a fun outing that would likely mean more to them than a box of candy they may not be permitted to eat. Best of all, this may be something that is quite convenient for them to do, something they would have done anyway out of the goodness of their heart.


The comforts of home are another wonderful gift a visitor can bring, as long as they are permitted, depending on someone’s condition. If a visitor can bring cozy socks or a sweater from home, this may make someone feel more comfortable and at ease while in the hospital or a rehab center.


If food is permitted to bring then remind the visitor to check if there are any guidelines for food. The patient may have dietary restrictions based on their current medical conditions they didn’t have before. Bringing in a small quantity of food may be the ideal choice, a selection of holiday cookies or treats if these are allowed. A storage container is suggested so the patient could enjoy them for a day or so following the visit.


Remind those who visit to check with the nursing station about the suggested time for a visit. Some patients may be up for a longer visit and others may need a short one. Most patients are happy to see visitors but all patients do need their rest.