1. Know where your drive-thrus are. Inevitably you'll realize you didn't bring a lunch or didn't eat enough (my usual dilemma) or won't have time to make something when you get home. Get to know your McD's and Harveys, Timmies and KFC's within a 10-minute diameter of your home and along usual routes to work/babysitters/grandma's/wherever. There are also Starbucks drive-thrus, which I got to know well enough last summer (ugh that was an ordeal, but a story for another post). If you have the Starbucks app, you should be able to find them, just please wait for a red light if you're driving or just pull over for a bit to check. =)
2. Know your power foods. These are foods that are healthy, stave away the hunger and help keep your blood sugar at a decent level without needing a whole lot. What I started doing was carrying around almonds with me. They are a great source of protein and a handful can carry you through quite nicely. Toss them in a Ziploc bag or store them in a small container. Pop some Smarties in your mouth along with the almonds for a truly raw DIY choco-almond mix. Other power foods are anything whole wheat or multi-grain, digestive cookies, bananas, and nuts in general. Yogurt is great too but requires refridgeration. If I'm fairly certain I'll be having it in the next 2 hours, I'll bring it with me.
3. Use instant in a pinch. I haven't had to use these yet but I keep packs of Starbucks Via in my purse and baby bag. They can be fairly discreet and in the summer there are ice coffee versions available (i.e. hot water not required, any temperature will do). There are also the new Via Refreshers to try for those who don't want a caffeine jolt, just a pick-me-up.
Some tips on the above:
a) Our kids may want what we have/get so consider for at least 5 seconds how you'll handle that. Can you share your food or should you order something separately for them? Will this spoil their next meal? How much can you give them? I can usually appease my son with a fry at a time if I have to.
b) If anything, we usually think about the kids'
c) Have some bottles of water in the trunk for general hydration and for easy use of the instant drinks. Or alternatively, for the caffeine-averse, keep some juice packs in the trunk.
How about you? Any tips and tricks to share? How do you deal with emergency food needs on the go?