While it's not the best, If you are busier than normal and must do a grab n go, get something like a salad and fruit from Drive Thru if possible. Also Instead of buying Protein/Granola bars make a bag of trail-mix, or Granola and dried fruit to keep with you. Just some thoughts. This will also keep some of the Preservatives to a minimum, as well as the cost.
I used to tote a bag of sugar free cereal, like Cheerios, and some celery, carrots and other veggies to nosh on. It was a whole lot cheaper than drive-throughs, and kept me going when it was too busy to take a chow break.
When you can't avoid the drive-thru, arm yourself in advance with info so you know which options are healthier than others (e.g., chicken sandwich vs burger? McD's vs Burger King?) The book "Eat This, Not That!" gives great info like this.
Unfortunately, you may have to "graze" throughout the day so that you are never truly hungry. Some of the suggestions listed in the responses below were pretty good, trail mix, pretzels, etc. If you can bring a small ice chest to work, then you can expand this to include more fruit, like grapes, apples and plums, as well as, yogurt, cut up cucumbers and tomatoes in a tupperware container, etc. I also recommend making 2 or 3 half peanut butter and jelly sanwiches where you can just grab one and leave the rest in a ziploc bag. A "half PB&J" is just taking one slice of bread and putting jelly on one side and peanut butter on the other and folding it over. Three or four bites and you're done. You'll have an appropriate mix of carbs, fat and protein to keep you going. The half sandwiches just make it more convenient and time-efficient.
I don't know about healthy. When we're on the run we just try & cook something at the ambulance base, or someones spouse comes in and makes salad for everyone. Can't eat in the unit, & I guess its what everyone else is up for.
Those are all good suggestions! It seems like the best way to avoid the drive-thru is to be prepared so you're not tempted when you're tired and hungry. In the spirit of preparation, JEMS.com columnist Jason Smith has offered his "Heart Healthy Lunch Box" at http://www.jems.com/news_and_articles/columns/Smith/heart_healthy_f.... Check it out and see if there are some suggestions in there that you can do to make your day, and workload, a little easier.
Not sure if you have one locally, but I stock up on munchies at either my local Trader Joe's or Jimbo's (health food store) before doing a shift. Worst come to worse, I've grabbed a box of Oatmeal-To-Go bars or Clif bars if I don't have enough time to grab something decent.
I have worked mostly in busy systems. In one county in particular, we were very grateful that the hospitals provided EMS with great snacks: Granola Bars, dried fruit, H2O, Gatorade, Pretzels, Peanut butter crackers, string cheese, Baked wheat crackers, in addition to others; on occasion we would walk into salads, fresh vegetables and fruit trays!! Tracey
I keep oatmeal and trail mix in my locker for emergencies. I try to "graze" throughout the day. Can never depend on a sit down meal. Most times I brown bag it from home. If I buy out it's most times chicken sandwiches or Subway.