Eating lean and clean on the night shift

Great tips for our employees to keep in mind for National Employee Health and Fitness Day


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When working the night shift at any VA hospital, eating healthy can be somewhat of a challenge. We’re serving up a few helpful tips to keep our employees feeling great while caring for our Veterans. Anyone who’s ever worked the night shift have faced the obstacle of finding meals that are both healthy and satisfying. The later the hour, the less healthy the options become. In honor of National Employee Health and Fitness Day this month, we’ve assembled some tips to eat well at any time.

Healthy eating at work starts at the supermarket.

Well-made sandwiches of sliced lean meats with low fat cheese, or tuna salad with lower fat mayo are easy if you shop ahead. On high-fiber bread, they’re healthy, filling and something to look forward to. (HINT: Putting mustard or mayo between the meat and cheese helps to keep the bread dry!)

For snacking, step away from the vending machine!

With snacks, it’s all in the prep. Make small plastic containers or snack sized baggies your best friend. (If prep time is a problem, many of these options are at the market ready to eat!)

  • Peeled boiled eggs
  • Plain yogurt with berries mixed in
  • Sliced apples
  • Grapes
  • Carrots and celery sticks
  • Favorite salads like quinoa with fresh veggies or spinach with feta and walnuts
  • Part-skim cheese sticks with your favorite crackers (avoid the salty, greasy kind)

Treats are important.

They keep us from feeling deprived. Small bars of dark chocolate, yogurt covered raisins or cranberries are enjoyable and rewarding.

We appreciate all the VA employees who give up their nights to care for our Veterans. If you’ve considered a career in Nursing, Nutrition, or other areas, you can search for open positions and apply now. To learn more tips and tricks from VA’s nutrition team, click here.

Author

VA Careers