Life can get hectic and creating a time-intensive homemade meal doesn’t always fit into your busy schedule. Healthy options that are simple, easy and can be incorporated into a meal in just minutes can make dinner-time go much more smoothly.

Try pre-prepped vegetables. Pre-prepped veggies are pre-cut, pre-packaged and come in a variety of vegetable assortments such as asparagus paired with summer squash, bell peppers and red onions, and summer squash mixed with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, red onions, bell peppers and potatoes. Here are the top five reasons why you should eat more vegetables:

1. Ready to grill or bake. Simply add a dressing such as Italian dressing, olive oil or balsamic vinegar or your favorite marinade, sprinkle with seasoning and place on skewers or wrap in aluminum foil to be placed in the oven or on the grill. Now, how easy was that?

2. Less time-consuming. Say goodbye to wasting time washing, peeling and cutting vegetables and say hello to more time enjoying the company of both friends and family.

3. Convenient way to eat more vegetables. Did you know that the average person consumes about 1.5 cups of vegetables per day? This is only half the amount of vegetables you should eat, as MyPlate recommends consuming 3 cups of vegetables daily. Since pre-prepped veggies are so easy to incorporate into a meal, they are a great way to pack in vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients that fuel our bodies.

4. Used in a variety of main dishes. Not too keen on eating vegetables alone? Try adding them as a complement to pasta salad, quesadillas/tacos, casseroles, sandwiches/wraps or rice dishes.

5. Less waste. Not having to do vegetable prep work ahead of time means less waste!

Grill once, eat twice! Pre-prepped vegetables can be cooked or grilled and leftovers can be used to create other meals throughout the week. Try adding mixed veggies to grilled cheese, create a fresh vegetable pizza or stuff an omelet with these nutrient-rich favorites.

Veggie Dinners

Premium Veggie Mix + Italian salad dressing, grill.

• Serve with feta cheese crumbles + black olives + cooked pasta + Italian salad dressing.

Asparagus & Squash Mix + olive oil + lemon & herb seasoning, grill.

• Serve with hummus + fresh mozzarella cheese + wrap.

Pepper Strips & Onion + Mexican blend paste, grill.

• Serve with cooked steak, shrimp or chicken + cheese + salsa + tortilla.

Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at