Time Saving and Nutritious Food Prep Techniques – Dump & Drizzle, Dump & Dip it!
A simple way to add veggies into the family meal when time is tight and convenience is essential.
Family life is a real juggling act, especially when it comes to healthy meals
Life goes fast, some days it’s really hard to catch your breath. Add chaos of kids and suddenly life for a family can be a real juggling act. How then can we get good wholesome foods while budgeting time and resources? This is the never ending question in the minds of busy parents, but truly applicable to any and every individual. Time… oh time!
Now don’t fret, in most instances, good planning and organization can help you buy, wash, chop/slice, and sort in nice colorful containers all the fruits and vegetables, like you are one good looking Martha Steward. Listening to a podcast while you are doing this mundane task, can really help it attain a whole new meaning and purpose- AKA not such a boring, doing-nothing task. When you are tied for time, you sure will be thankful you can grab a container and be able to add fruit, veggies and beautiful color to your plate. But until then, there’s a lot we can do to improve nutrition for less.
Need a time-out from food-prep and yet trying to find a way to make take-out healthier?
I find for some people the real struggle comes on the nights when we just need a time-out from food prep and the kitchen. In this case getting fruit in is not so difficult because you can pick, wash, bite and chew, hooray! But getting veggies in can seems like climbing Mount Everest. For instance, take Friday night when you come home exhausted and think “mmm what’s for dinner?” Having no plan set and no desire to get the kitchen dirty you think “it’s a pizza night”. Some people force themselves to order a vegetarian to get some veggies all in one bite. At our house, however, Hawaiian and pepperoni or simple cheese pizza are the go-to favs. This means if we indulge we will have a veggie-free dinner. For one night, that’s ok; but if your house is anything like mine, where pizza night can come once a week, adding variety, color and balance in the most easy, thoughtless way possible is a real bonus.
Learn these 2 easy techniques: dump and drizzle, dump and dip it!
Here is when I use my two most basic (zombie-proof) food prep techniques: the dump and drizzle and the dump and dip it. The dump and drizzle requires me pulling out a pre-washed (three times!) salad mix with a store bought dressing. Done in 10 seconds- dump the leaves in a salad bowl and drizzle with dressing. You can get all kinds of salad mix these days: coleslaw, plain spinach, spring mix with almonds and apples, deluxe organic leaves all conveniently in one box for $7.99 or under, worth it! The only trick here is to purchase it on your weekly grocery run and to keep it fresh. Sooooo easy!
Now the dump and dip it requires pre-washed ready-to-eat carrots bags or veggie sticks trays and a hummus or ranch dip. Pizza arrives…. Dump the carrots or veggies sticks in a sharing plate with a dip in the center. Voila! Done!
A basic habit that grows
What is very promising about these simple techniques is that with time they set the habit of adding a wee of color and more nutrients to your meal, even when you don’t have the ready to eat stuff on hand. Some pizza nights, 5 minutes before pizza arrives, I have been motivated to wash a few veggies and fruits and make a nice colorful platter for the kids to nibble on (it’s heart-warming to see my husband join in). I have noticed that washing the garden lettuce and making balsamic vinaigrette takes max 5 minutes with a good spinning lettuce washer. The habit then grows and with time I have gotten the kids involved to wash the leaves or make the vinaigrette… sure my task moves from 5 minutes to likely twelve, but the time spent with my little ones talking about their day while teaching them a basic skill is priceless. Time becomes not about feeling rushed, but about slowing down and enjoying the simplicity of a task with someone you love.
But until we get in that habit or that joy of the moment and time is pressing, just take a deep breath and tell yourself “here we go, it’s a dump and drizzle or dump and dip it meal”.
Want to start incorporate healthy eating for your family but don’t know where to start?
Contact one of our Registered Dietitians to begin your family’s nutrition journey today!
Our team of Calgary Dietitians and Online Nutritionists have a range of specialties, so we can find one that works for you.
Book an appointment for an in-person or online meeting!
Interested in learning more about Kids nutrition? Check these blog posts out:
Daniela O’Brien is known for her contagious smile, warm approachability and collaborative approach to nutrition counselling for individuals and families. Her non-judgemental, calm demeaner mixed with confidence and clear direction is especially helpful when families are struggling with meal planning challenges, picky eating, health issues and complex eating disorders. Daniela specializes in Disordered Eating, Emotional Eating, Weight Concerns, Pre/Post-natal, Infant/Kids/Family Nutrition and offers services in both English and Spanish.