For several years now my husband has worked as a first responder: first as the medic, and now as a police recruit.
Through the years, I have always struggled with what food to send with him for lunch and snacks because of the unique challenges the field represents.
For starters, there is no set lunch hour. In fact, there is often no predictability in when or if there will be a short break to eat.
There is also the issue of not having access to a refrigerator or microwave, making it difficult to send leftover or food that needs to stay cold.
And then there is the issue of how much physical work they are doing and how much energy they are expending during their shift. Running, walking, standing, sometimes sweating through their heavy uniforms and vests burns a lot of calories.
Finally, our husbands are often working LONG shifts – anywhere from 10 to 24 hours. Instead of packing 1 lunch and 2-3 snacks, I am finding myself packing multiple meals and multiple snacks.
It is no surprise that many of our first responders struggle with their health – because it is so hard to eat healthy with these challenges. Sometimes our husbands are so busy taking care of others that they are unable to take care of themselves.
While my husband currently goes through the 6 month police academy for our local city, he is under more physical strain than at any other time in his life. He has had PT several times a week, and the sheer amount of push-ups and sit-ups they do on a daily basis makes me tired just thinking about it.
With this new physical regiment, I find that a typical lunch is just not even to keep him fueled throughout the day.
After coming home exhausted one day, he told me that all of the other recruits like to bring granola bars, protein shakes and high-calorie snacks to eat throughout the day. Since we often can’t afford everything the store has to offer, I set my mind to coming up with a list of ideas that I can send with my husband to work.
All of the following ideas can be homemade OR store bought, and are packed with the types of calories and nutrients that our hard-working men need throughout a long day at work!
*Please note that none of these recipes were created by me. I have linked to the favorite recipes that I use, but all credit for the recipe creation goes to the talented cooks linked in each recipe!
Suzanne is first and foremost a follower of Christ, and this defines everything that she does. She is married to Theo, who is a first responder for the Dayton Fire Department. They have two beautiful biological babies, Tera Evelynne and Hezekiah James. They are also licensed foster parents and therefore they never know how many children they will have in their home!
When Suzanne is not doing what she loves most (which is being a wife, mom, and homemaker!), she loves to cook new recipes, spend time outdoors, go for long runs, and blog at The Glorious Mundane.