I know many grown-ups who get hangry. I may be one of them. My sister is most definitely another. But luckily, we grown-ups can recognize the signs and have a pretty good idea of when we'll be hungry for a meal or a snack, so we can usually identify the irrationality and take care of the situation before it gets out of hand.
Toddlers, however, are a different story. Even if your child can verbalize, they might not be able to identify that hunger is the reason they're grumpy and angry. And usually by the time they get to the hangry point, they're so irrational that you can't figure out what the heck is going on. When they're babies, you pretty much know it's all about the milk. But once they start eating solids and getting on a bit of a schedule, you can get a little out of tune with paying attention to their every feeding need. So you might not realize they're hungry until you look at your watch and realize that you're running late for lunchtime and that's why they're self-destructing.
That's why I learned, quickly but the hard way, to always be prepared. The snack I always carried in my purse: a few Mum-Mum packs.
Buy: Mum-Mum Rice Biscuits, from $4 for 24
Mum-mums are these perfectly sized rice crackers that come wrapped in little two-cracker servings. They're gluten-free, lactose-free, egg-free, and peanut-free — so they're a safe option, allergy-wise, for most kids. They're just tasty enough that your child will be happy to have one when he's hungry, but not so delicious that he's going to eat a whole box when you're not looking. And it's the perfect amount of food to tide him over while you finish up an errand or get home from being out and about, without ruining the next meal. Plus, he can hold on to them while he nibbles, but they're not sticky or spill-y like some other snacks. And they're crackers, so they don't need to be refrigerated and can keep for ages in your purse.
My kids are older now, but I have so many distinct memories of Mum-Mums in our life — in the stroller, on a hike through Olympic National Park, waiting for a table at an overcrowded bunch spot. They have been a lifesaver so many times! Every once in a while, I open a purse I haven't used for a while and find a packet in there. Sometimes, I eat them.
What's your go-to snack that you stash in your bag for toddler hunger meltdowns?