In Case of Emergency: 5 Foods to Keep in Your Desk for Last-Minute Lunches

published Mar 10, 2014
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You woke up late and didn’t have time to throw anything together before rushing out the door. Or — much worse — you made a great lunch the night before and forgot it at home. Whatever the reason, now you’re at work and the clock is inching towards lunch time. Not to worry! If you keep these five essentials in your desk, you’ll always have an emergency work lunch on hand.

Note: If your office has an issue with mice or other critters, remember to store all your food items in heavy plastic, metal or glass containers before leaving them in your desk.

1. Jar of peanut butter or other nut butter

Spread it on crackers, make it into a PB & J, dip apple slices in it, or even eat it by the spoonful for a no-fuss, filling meal.

2. Good-quality canned or boxed soup

A bowl of microwaved soup can save you in a pinch. If you have access to a few more ingredients and a little more time, try these ten ideas for dressing up canned soup.

3. Crackers

Hearty, fiber-rich crackers can be topped with nut butter or — if you have access to a refrigerator — more perishable ingredients like cheese for a stand-alone lunch or accompaniment to soup.

4. Apples, bananas or oranges

Add a little color to your lunch with one of these shelf-stable fruits.

5. Canned beans

If you have space to do a little more prep at your desk, a can of beans can be the basis for a quick and simple meal like these Avocado-Lime Black Beans. Or give the beans a rinse and add them to soups or store-bought salads for a more satisfying lunch.

And don’t forget these 6 essential non-food items:

→ Office Lunch Survival Kit: 6 Essentials to Keep at the Office

What foods do you keep at your desk for emergency lunches?