Any other police officers or emergency personel? Advice for healthy eating with shiftwork?

Hi everyone, my husband and I have recently started back with myfitnesspal and are trying to stop eating so much fast food, both for our weight and for our wallet. My husband has a hard time with avoiding fast food because he is a police officer who spends long shifts in his car, without always being able to return to the barrack to use the refridgerator. He usually has to eat in his car and so he is limited in what he can bring from home without it going bad from sitting out unrefridgerated too long, or being too messy. He pretty much is limited to sandwiches, which I think he just gets bored of and so he gets fast food. I cant blame him for not wanting to eat the same sandwich every day. But if I pack him leftovers he says he can't eat it easily or quickly in his car.
He had the same problem when he was an EMT- being in the ambulance for long shifts. I'm a nurse and work long shifts too, but at least I have access to a fridge and microwave. I am sure there must other emergency personnel out there, anyone have any tips or ideas for good on-the-go meals that keep well? Thank you in advance!


  • 3dogsrunning
    3dogsrunning Posts: 27,167 Member
    edited January 2016
    There are all kinds of different cooler bags you can buy that will fit enough food for a shift and keep it cool.
    Sandwiches are an option. Salads are another. Fruit and veggies. Crackers, cheese, granola bars, yogurt, are all packable ptions. You can get packages of tuna and crackers that are portable. Protein shakes and bars (some are better options than others) are other snacks that help keep you full and are really portable. Beef jerky. I always have a Quest bar in my bag.
    I don't mind eating some regular meals cold or not heated up but some people do mind.

    The other side is even most fast food restaurant have better options. And as long as it is logged and fits in the days calories, a person can still lose weight eating fast food meals.
  • amy_j28
    amy_j28 Posts: 45 Member
    My husband is also an officer - fortunately we live in a small enough town that he can usually just swing by the house and eat something. I think it has helped that we prepped and froze about 2 weeks worth of meals so all he needs to do is pop them in the microwave. Sometimes he doesn't have time, and he does go to fast food also. Following for ideas too :) Though 2dogsrunning has some great suggestions that I never thought of!
  • dcglobalgirl
    dcglobalgirl Posts: 207 Member
    Maybe try some wraps (less bread) with interesting salad type fillings? I'm guessing he wants something he can eat with one hand while driving or on the phone or radio. I'm not emergency personnel but I've worked some crisis task forces and done duty shifts and I know that it's hard not to do the stress eating as well. I had one duty shift where all I had time to grab and eat between calls was potato chips. Just let him know we appreciate all his hard work and good luck with making the healthy choices!
  • 3dogsrunning
    3dogsrunning Posts: 27,167 Member
    Trail mix. Granola (on top of yogurt already mentioned). I also do Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts on top. Not fat free though, it doesn't keep me full as log.
    Even cereal, he could bring milk or stop at a convenience store and buy some.

    If he really wanted to, I bet he could ask to use a convenience store microwave for the times he can't get back to barracks and needs to heat up food. Most places would like an officer dropping in, particularly on the back shift although I would still purchase a bottle of water or something.
  • Lisa_Strauss
    Lisa_Strauss Posts: 2 Member
    A nice thermos can be used to keep things warm/hot; not just soups (although soups can be very filling and good for you), but also burritos, pasties (I'm from the north, it's a thing), noodles and sauce, etc. It's also pretty compact, so it's easy to carry and store.
  • JackieMarie1989jgw
    JackieMarie1989jgw Posts: 230 Member
    Thanks for your ideas everyone! We do have a cooler, I think we just need to get more creative with what we pack to keep it interesting. He's not a yogurt guy but wraps with salad type fillings, granola bars, jerky, etc, are all good options. I know about the stress eating...when I was doing night shifts in the ER I got into the habit of getting mcdonalds breakfast on my way home after every hard shift...which was most shifts haha. Its a hard habit to break, for sure, but do-able.
  • suzan06
    suzan06 Posts: 218 Member
    That does sound tough. I know y husband will eat leftovers, but only if he can heat them- cold leftovers revolt him. Whereas I will eat cold stuff no problem!

    The thermos idea is a good one for winter- some of them do an excellent job of keeping food hot, and you could put a burrito, or something like that, in it, so its hot to eat at lunch. Heck, some of them are wide enough you could put a burger, or a breakfast sandwich type sandwich in and keep it hot.

    I don't know if you can buy these, but I am imagining a tupperware container that is divided into smaller sections- you could fill it with cut up raw veggies, cheese, nuts, etc to snack on quickly while driving, with one hand, that is not chips :)