Paramedics work long hours and by the very nature of their work, are rarely able to return to the station, heat up some food and sit down to a nice quiet, uninterrupted lunch break. It is for this reason that paramedics seem to have some of the poorest diets among health professionals. Many paramedics find themselves regularly eating fast food, skipping meals, eating in the late hours of the evening just before they go to bed.
These are some of the basic healthy meals or snacks that I bring to work on a day by day basis:
1. A variety of nuts. I usually like to mix macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds and cashews together. All make a good snack that is full of good oils.
2. Muesli bars. If I get a chance I’ll make a batch of homemade muesli bars on my day off before I go back to work. They’re cheap, healthy, and help you get through to that lunch break that never comes.
3. Green beans, pre-washed and packed, for some reason seem to be an easy snack for me. They taste good, keep me awake, and are full of nutrients and fibre.
4. Fruit is a good substitute for that chocolate bar, but watch where you store it or your work bag may become wet with crushed fruit.
5. Sandwiches are an obvious simple meal for paramedics on the go.
6. I find a salad will last most of the day in a container. If you’re going to keep tomatoes in your salad, you’re better off cutting it up just before you eat it, otherwise, the entire salad will become affected by the juices.
7. Small canned tuna or salmon are usually relatively easy to eat on the go. But I’d recommend checking with your partner first. Some people have an aversion to the smell of canned fish and no matter how much you wash up after yourself; it seems to stink out the Ambulance. This goes double for where you’re going to dispose of the can. If you don’t have a bin that’s outside the ambulance, don’t even think about opening it, and don’t dump it next to the triage nurse or you’ll never get a bed for your patient again.
8. Pasta usually keeps quite well for a day and is easy to eat cold.