11 Best Snacks for Travel Nurses

Health Carousel Travel Nursing
December 14, 2022
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The life of a travel nurse is busy. Travel nurses lives are busy, whether it’s traveling to your next assignment or working your shift, it’s hard to make time for eating healthy meals. It’s tempting to reach for a sugary snack to keep your energy levels high, but the sugar crash afterward can slow you down even more. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of travel nurse snacks that are perfect for any travel nurse’s shift!


Protein bars will give you long-lasting energy to help you get through your shift. They’re easy to take on the go, and protein provides that “full” feeling that you need when you’re feeling hungry. Reach for a protein bar the next time you are thinking of going to the vending machine for a candy bar.


Nuts are perfect snacks for travel nurses that  are high in protein and healthy fats. They will keep you from feeling that hungry gnawing sensation in your stomach in the middle of your shift. Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are all great sources of nutrients whether you eat them alone or add them to trail mix. 


Have you ever brought fruit to your shift, intending to eat it, but in a moment of weakness, made a dash to the vending machine? Then a few days later, you see that fruit going bad in the kitchen, and felt a wave of guilt wash over you.? Dried fruit can stay fresh at room temperature for weeks, compared to the mere days it takes an apple or a banana to go bad. They’re also nutritious, healthy snacks and can provide a great boost when you’re feeling your energy waning.


Greek yogurt is high in protein and healthy fat and can be conveniently mixed with other snacks for variety! Throw in some fresh fruit or granola to shake up this healthy snack. It also strengthens your probiotic make-up and provides bone health, leading to a healthier body all around.  


This delicacy, which can be found at grocery stores, is great for giving you a bit of caffeine-aided energy while working the night shift. They’re also tasty, and are a lot more enjoyable than gulping down that third cup of cold coffee. The chocolate will also release dopamine, which increases your energy levels.


Try spreading some hummus on veggies such as sugar snap peas, broccoli, or red peppers for a delicious and guilt- free snack. 


Grapes are easy to snack on and contain plenty of nutrients. They taste great as a frozen treat. They also hydrate you with their high water content, which will prevent you from feeling fatigued during your trip (without necessitating bathroom breaks every thirty minutes).


Popcorn is a light and healthy snack full of fiber and antioxidants which can help you feel full longer and lower your risk of  heart disease. Many hospitals have rules against popping popcorn in the microwave so you may want to make it ahead of time and carry it with you or choose a prepackaged option like Smart Pop.


Similar to the dried fruit we mentioned above, fruit chips will give you the nutrients you need while also being a joy to snack on. They give the satisfying crunch that you want during a road trip, without the high sodium and empty carbs of potato chips.


Hard boiled eggs are a healthy snack option for nurses trying to maintain a healthy diet. They contain about 6 grams of protein to help keep you full throughout your shift. Hard boiled eggs can be prepared ahead of time and are an easy grab and go option. 


String cheese is another favorite among travel nurses who want to eat healthy. They come in several different varieties of cheese and are an easy snack to just throw in your work bag. Part-skim mozzarella string cheese is the perfect snack for nurses concerned about heart health. 

One of the unique parts of being a travel nurse is the time you spend in the car getting to and from your travel nursing assignments. If you’ve taken an assignment across the country and will be spending a lot of time in the car, we’ve compiled some of the best snacks full of whole foods to take along the way. We hope this list has helped you find a replacement for some of the more unhealthy snacks and energy drinks  travel nurses often find themselves eating at work, at night, or on the way to their next assignment.

About Health Carousel Travel Nursing

HCTN empowers nurses to pick where they want to go, advance their careers, and get back to doing what they love. We partner with the nation’s top facilities enabling us to take the stress out of your search and get you placed in your dream location.

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What should a traveling nurse eat?

Travel nurses need to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and healthy fats . Travel nurses can benefit from eating small frequent meals throughout the day to maintain energy levels and make sure to boost their immune system. 

Do travel nurses get money for food?

Most travel nurses receive stipends for food. Check with your recruiter to see what options are available to you.

What should nurses pack for lunch?

Nurses can use the above list to help them pack lunches that are healthy and nutritious. You can incorporate those snacks into small meals or as an addition to hearty salads, chicken and whole grain rice, or sandwiches.

Author Bio

Lauren Rivera is a nationally certified neonatal intensive care nurse with over 15 years of experience. She serves as a nurse expert offering support and educational classes for women from preconception through childhood. Lauren is also a freelance health and wellness writer with works published on several nursing sites. She develops and curates content for various healthcare companies, and writes continuing education modules for other healthcare professionals.


Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand


Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand


Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand

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Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand

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