Food during nursing school?

  1. Any ideas for packing lunches/snacks for nursing school?

    I don't know yet about what is available in the cafeteria and how fresh/nutritious/edible/affordable the food there is, but I'll probably be packing lunch most days. Since it's a full day program, I need ideas for lunches that are easy to prepare and transport, and will give me enough energy to get through a day of school.
  2. Visit JeanettePNP profile page

    About JeanettePNP

    Joined: Feb '06; Posts: 1,947; Likes: 1,348
    Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Pediatric pulmonology and allergy

    12 Comments

  3. by   ImMrBill3, RN
    I have found the cafeterias at both the school and the hospital pretty good. We have a Dean Ornish entree available for lunch at the hospital and something pretty close at the school. Both are very cheap. There is a lot of not so healthy food and it is really easy to go for that. I was eating biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast and fried something for lunch. Packing a lunch will allways be cheaper and you will maintain control over your diet. When I am being sensible I take yogurt, some nuts and some carrot sticks, it's usually enough.
    Good luck in school!
  4. by   9livesRN
    just eat whatever you want! make sure you always have a couple of snack bars, cereal bars on you!!! and don't get too friendly with snacks!!! they will add on your waist
  5. by   Scooter321
    We have access to a microwave at our CC, and my favorite lunch/late evening snack (depending on the class I was taking during prereqs) was a Lean Pocket (ready in two minutes) followed by a FF yoghurt if I was hungry enough. There are a bunch of Lean Pockets to choose from, and they're so quick and easy to eat, even coming with their own little holder so no plate is really needed. I would pack these in a little lunch pot that included a freezer pack, and they would stay cold and fresh until needed. Also a few grapes, strawberries, an apple, etc., make for a great sweet snack if you're going the healthy route.umpiron: I can honestly say that I was never tempted by the unhealthy stuff in the cafeteria, knowing I had my tasty options ready to go. :smilecoffeecup:
  6. by   picurn10
    well, for class days I just take a frozen lean cuisine or something. My clinical sites have varied. One place, students ate for free but the quality wasn't very good. I would pick a choose a few things though because it was free. Another site had an awesome, cheap cafeteria so I ate there most days because it saved time in the morning rushing out the door and it was only about $3/day (what I would pay to pack my own). I only had one clinical site with no cafeteria, but it was my first rotation and I was usually pretty sick to my stomach so I never really ate ; )
  7. by   KellT1203
    I try to pack my lunch the night before. I have a little soft cooler/lunch box. I put it in the freezer at night so the gel freezes. It keeps food pretty cool, soda too. You can also keep it in the fridge if you want, doesnt matter.

    I like sandwiches, especially tunafish with relish, mayo, hard boiled eggs in it. It is easy to slap on a piece of bread in the AM if I get lazy. String cheese cuz it has protein and is super easy and quick if you need a snack. Yogurt, sometimes I try fresh fruit or baby carrots. I like Cliff bars too. Leftovers are always great too, you don't waste food and you can make yourself a little dish before you put everything away after dinner.

    Lately I haven't had a chance to eat lunch or take a break. I think that will start happening more and more often. So I try to bring things that have protein in it and are quick to eat so I can get something in my stomach without wasting a lot of time if you are busy.
  8. by   carolinapooh
    Go to Target and get one of the huge sippy Thermos-type cups that's insulated. I used to fill that up with ice and I would STILL have ice at the end of the day. The ones I had were clear and they didn't sweat.

    At our hospital cafeteria, you can get ice in your own cup for free. At worst, you fill up a cup and pay a dime for it if you need to replenish your supply.

    Leftovers are handy. Invest in a few good plastic items - I like the Lock n'Lock stuff b/c it doesn't leak. And those gel packs DO work.
  9. by   OntheHorizon
    Make extra when you cook dinners such as stir fry, rice'n lentils, pasta.... bring it in a tupperware and microwave it for lunch. That way you know it's healthy because it's not processed, frozen junk. Make sure that there is plenty of protein (chicken, tofu, beans) in your meals because energy from protein lasts longer than carbs and you won't feel hungry as soon after eating.
    Good luck!
  10. by   cursedandblessed
    I say it depends on the hospital site. We rotate and one hospital gives a 50% discount, and 25 cent drinks. at $2 for a salad, and drink or the days special (really great chicken enchiladas low sodium, low fat to boot) I don't waste time packing a lunch. The nightmare of a place we have now, everyone's brown bagging, sick to death of it.

    I roll up lunch meat lettuce and cheese in a tortilla(you can do the same in a pita), and dip in salad dressing. Always keep a microwavable chef-boy-ardee in my purse, sunchips are available in the single serve 12 or 20 pack at the dreaded wally world. Worst case, keep a jar of peanut butter and a package of crackers in your backpack.
  11. by   bekindtokittens
    Tuna salad with crackers or peanut butter sandwiches are two safe lunches for me. I can keep them cool in my lunch box with a frozen blue pack, and I don't have to waste 15 minutes out of my 30 minute lunch break waiting in the cafeteria line, or searching for and then waiting to use the microwave.

    Fruit is good too, but I make sure to slice it into bite-sized pieces and pack it in a container before I leave for clinical. I'm messy, and if you have to wear white scrubs like I do, it won't be long before you spill something down your front. (I even drink my coffee with a straw when I'm wearing my whites.)

    I also like to bring cheese and protein bars as snacks. I like Clif bars (mmm, black cherry almond!) and Lara bars.
  12. by   cursedandblessed
    I know ya'll will laugh at this, the hospital mentioned before, serves these beautiful cake slices/wedges with the discount you're looking at 65 cents, I was always getting those and taking them home to the hubby. I can't wait to be back there this summer for our rotation. (Well actually I'm going to enjoy my month off then that one)
  13. by   shrimpchips
    The food at my clinical site was actually pretty tasty and they also had "lite" options for those who are trying to watch their calories/fat/carb content, etc. I usually bought food, but sometimes I would bring food. I love draining a can of tuna and placing it on some bread with either some cheese or some sriracha sauce (it's a spicy thai red chili sauce that comes in a bottle that looks like THIS - you can get it at A-marts and I have seen it in regular grocery stores as well (generally if your local grocery store has an "international foods" section). Or I opt for peanut butter-banana-honey sandwiches - good for the protein and good to add some fruit in there as well or I will buy/bring fresh fruit. The hospital always has fresh fruit available in the cafeteria which is nice. Leftovers are always a good option and I think you should invest in some microwaveable tupperware containers. I also like string cheese or some cheese cubes for some protein. I also like Odwalla bars - the banana nut and the chocolate ones are my favorite
  14. by   NamasteNurse
    protein is a must. salty and sweet bars are good they have nuts and a little sweetness. Fruit, salads with cheese or chicken. Cheeses and crackers. yogurt. nuts. cheese sticks. hard boiled eggs. water!

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