Eating healthy during those long night shifts


I am starting a 12 hour night shift next week. I am trying to eat healthy and get back in shape. I was wondering what some people bring to eat at night during their shifts. Also, how do you eat during the days that you are sleeping?

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

Forget "breakfast food" vs "dinner food". Eat what you like any time of day, just in reasonable portions. When I worked nights I liked to take a small (10oz) box of frozen sugar snap peas. By the time I was able to eat they would be thawed and were wonderful. Worked with a nurse who bought salad fixins' by the bulk but had a different salad each night. Topped with tuna, fajita chicken or beef, boiled eggs, nuts, fruit, edamame beans ---you can really change it up a lot. Like to bake several potatoes at once then refrigerate. For a meal I reheat, then top with chili or beans, or whatever you like.

Specializes in Rehab, critical care. Has 3 years experience.

For healthy snacks, I bring a piece of fruit, and healthier chips. For instance, I love sweet potato and apple chips, so I'll bring those from time to time. Granola bars are also a staple of mine, but those are not particularly healthy, I guess, just kind of neutral haha. Always a yogurt, too. And, of course, I always have something unhealthy in there like a piece of chocolate or some Oreos lol.

For my actual dinner, it's usually a lean cuisine, sandwich, hummus, or tuna (starkist makes those lunch to go packs, and I buy the sabra hummus with pretzels on top).

BrandonLPN, LPN

3,358 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

The hardest part for me was not eating right before going to bed in the morning. Don't do that! I just couldn't do it. I gained weight, and that was the main reason I went back to 3-11. Otherwise, I loved nights.


550 Posts

You will develop your own eating schedule. I eat my main meal with my kids just before I go into work, I take leftovers to work when we have them. I usually grab something small from the cafeteria (ours is open until 1) and maybe a snack in the early morning hours.. I don't eat before I go to bed in the morning. The snack is what will get you. I am trying to bring healthy snacks with me so I can avoid the candy bars we sell at the nurses station. I have worked nights for 3 months and, so far, I look like I've lost weight, at least that's what everyone says. I think it has redistributed as muscle where I went from sitting in nursing school to walking for 12 hour shifts.