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I've never quite mastered packing lunches - "normal" lunch items that might look good during the day can be unappealing at 1 am - typical lunch time for a night shift nurse. The cafeteria food available is usually a bit tired looking, also, and often night nurses simply don't get an opportunity to actually take their lunch break - or the break is interrupted and the food spoiled by the time we can get back to it.
What I've found helps is to keep protein drinks in my locker, and to carry dry cereal for snacks - healthier than candy or vending machine choices. If I'm feeling ambitious, I'll cube some cheese to keep in snack size baggies in the fridge at work. Instant oatmeal is a somewhat healthy, comforting snack.
What we need for night lunches are things that are available instantly, won't catch the microwave on fire if left in too long, have gourmet flavor, are healthy and not too heavy in carbs (we need to stay awake), won't get stuck in our teeth (no time to floss on our way to an emergency) and won't spoil if left out for an hour.
I'd be interested in what kind of goodies other night shifters have come up with.
Patti K in Vail AZ