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night shift ..need food ideas

Does anyone else work night shifts. I will be starting a week of nights on sunday and need food ideas. We don't get regular brakes and tend to eat food on the ward due to staffing levels. Most of the staff bring in callorie and fat laden foods "feel good food" to help get through the night shift. I normally have an evening meal before i start work, but what should i take, we have a microwave but that is it. I find it hard to eat cold food on nights, such as salads and some friut, and also find it hard to eat another meal... so i nead ideas of more snacky foods that are not sins and will keep me full of energy for a very tiring week, i will be working around 80 hours in one week, so need plenty of energy to keep me physically and mentaly focused. I would be very gratefull for any advice x
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Never gets tired of SW!
G: 10st10lb
Hi bigtummymummy, I'm also a nurse and work loads of night shifts, not to mention all the body-clock unfriendly earlys, lates and long days!! I just have to be very very organised with my eating!! I usually take in some form of pasta- the list of combinations is endless!! Or leftovers from meals made at home such as curry and rice, casseroles, stews, soups! If you do like cooking, make a big vat of something you like eg chilli, or anything at all, and freeze and label up portions of it so you've always got something! I take snacks to work with me- Alpen light bars (for those moments where colleagues are tucking into the biscuits or Quality St given by relatives/patients) so I can have a sweet treat too, fruit, yogurt, Mugshots (pasta soup in a mug- free and really yummy and filling- they save me on long shifts, sometimes like you with few breaks!) The SW Food Directory is good for listings of low syn ready meals if that's more your thing and you don't have time to cook! I have a big cool-bag which I call my own personal fridge and am very organised in putting freshly frozen icepacks in with all my yummy food! I used to panic about nights and how I was going to cope foodwise and now I love my little fridge!! I lost 4.5 lb this week after working 4 nights in a row so I must have done something right- biggest loss yet!! The secret is in staying full so you don't need to pick on those goodies that everyone is bringing in!!X


Silver Member
S: 19st11lb C: 17st6lb G: 13st0lb Loss: 2st5lb(11.91%)
A flask of soup or stew with your hexb bread would be good. I make a huge pot of something like soup or stew every week and it keeps us all going for days and is really cheap and filling.
Tins of ravioli, beans or spaghetti to warm in the microwave,mugshots or rice/coucous salad. You could also part cook some jacket potatoes in the oven/microwave at home then finish them off at work and top with beans, tinned tuna, hexa cheese. Slimming world quiche is a good one too although I hate it made with cottage cheese and use 0% greek yoghurt instead.
Think i'm also worried about not eating enough, because i seem to have to froce myself to eat on nights as i just don't feel particularly hungry, but if i don't eat i feel like i'm ready to drop at around 5am... i'm also concerned as some night we don't even get a brake or chance to eat.... yes and before anyone spouts that by law we are entitled! it is not always that simple, i work on high dependancy and have critically ill patients , so if on of them takes a turn for the wort i can't just say, well i'm just off for my brake...
Thanks for the advice funcurls, and it's good to know that your a nurse and you can still do well on the diet with all the shift work we have to do.


Never gets tired of SW!
G: 10st10lb
I'm in the same boat! I work in Cardiac ITU/HDU and I know exactly what you mean about going without breaks! However, if you take snacks in with you as back ups as well as your main meals, at least you've got things to fall back on! Couscous is actually a great one (the Ainsley Harriott and supermarket brands with added bits/spices are great) because all you need is a bowl and some boiling water, pour it over, wait 5 mins, fluff up with a fork and hey presto, a superquick hot filling meal!! And don't forget the mugshots- they're awesome and you can drink from a mug as you would a cup of tea (but with a fork in one hand!) on the unit!X


Never gets tired of SW!
G: 10st10lb
Defo! Oh, and don't forget things like Babybel Light- 3 for 1HEXa! Little snacks like that regularly through the night can keep you going!X


Not such a fat kat now :)
S: 19st1.5lb C: 13st5lb G: 11st7lb BMI: 29.3 Loss: 5st10.5lb(30.09%)
sounds like youve both got it organised now. I cant help much as Ive never had to do night shifts.

Ive been making the lentil,carrot and bacon soup fromt he extra easy cook book, it is absolutley gorgeous, and smells fantastic. Also cous cous with bacon and red onion is equally delicscious with a few sprinkles of lea and perrins or similar and can be eaten hot or cold
I cant echo the mugshot theory as I think they taste like wallpaper paste but Everyone to their own.

Good luck anyway


Never gets tired of SW!
G: 10st10lb
Toofatkat that sounds lush! And yes I am a fan of Mugshots, although my fave was the Thai and they seem to have vanished off the face of the earth!:cry:


Not such a fat kat now :)
S: 19st1.5lb C: 13st5lb G: 11st7lb BMI: 29.3 Loss: 5st10.5lb(30.09%)
Ive only tried the chicken andmushroom one, I hoped they would be handy on Monday and Wednesday when I do a 9am - 9pm day and dont eat properly but I thought it had no flavour so I'll stick to my soups and casseroles
hey ladies glad to see im in the same boat (nurse who does nightshift to). I usually take in leftover dinner and try eat that before the tiredness and appetite goes, again mugshots and soups are brillant and quick to eat, may stuff like cheese (hexa) baby toms, cracker for quick snacks, yogurt. Its hard when every1 else bring in cakes lol
S: 19st8lb C: 18st11lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 45.1 Loss: 0st11lb(4.01%)
I'm a 3rd year nurse and work nights also, I have my tea with my boyfriend before I go and take fruit, chop it up with fat free yoghurt and soup and wholemeal bread! Sometimes, a nice salad sandwhich and some snack a jacks does the trick also!

Why don't you have a go at making the Ministrone soup in the EE recipe book? It's lovely and you can make a batch and it lasts a couple of days!

The light choices garibaldi type bars are nice for a sweet craving and have 3 biscuits in oer oack and are only 2.5 syns!

Whats annoying in my team is, we do assessments, so we could be out for 5-7 hours a night running around, so I make sure I carry something in my bag and a drink!

Also, our team, some get takeaways! That's always annoying! LOL!
Yeah they all bring in crisps, cakes, lots of chocolate and sweets.. things that you can grab as you walk past, eating on the run... probably how i got this big... you don't have time to think what you put in your mouth and don't realise how many times you keep popping that food in... oh the calories lol!!!
I think the baby bell and toms is a good idea.... i'm sure after a couple of night i'll have full controll and know exactly what works for me, thanks agian for the advice x
S: 14st13lb C: 14st13lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 38.2 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
morrisons are selling these micro packets .. meatballs and spagettie, sausages and spag hoops etc.. they are just packets that you shuv in the microwave for 2 mins. syn calculator counts them as free, and the meatballs and spagettie is gorgeous (concidering its a micro packet- because i hate food like that) .. and is a great little snack. x

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