I Guess I Am A Redneck Cook
Part of it comes from the fact I had a meat and potatoes dad and four brothers who would protest worse than any of those occupiers on Wall Street if my mother dared to serve us "health foods". Organic food crap didn't exist, no seafood (I didn't discover that was a good thing until Prom Night), and squash and pumpkin were forbidden. I remember a certain relative throwing a fit over eating zucchini when I was real small. (I will let you guess who it was!)
Part of it is because in my family we were taught to question everything. I think that is why one of us got into nutrition and the other is a scientist. This has saved us many times. When it seemed that everyone was telling us to buy a house the market was hot, we questioned it, did research and decided that it was a false market and that eventually prices would crash. We were proven correct. Organic food is the same way. We researched it and discovered a lot of it was based on crap. Most of it was even political and can be traced back to pre-WWII Germany. (Not by the NAZI's though some in the organic movement became NAZI's)
So I am reading this book about healthy dinners for kids and the entire time feel sorry for the kids in these families. I also wonder if the moms really feed their kids McDonald's.
Every recipe had organic veggies, ground turkey, turkey or vegetarian sausage. The vegetables were steamed plain. Everything was whole wheat this or that and I am sorry but whole wheat noodles are gross. I CAN eat those things and even love tofu but my kids aren't going to eat it and I've tried and tried but they just don't make good family meals. A good meal must savor every sense. It must have a combination of bitter, sweet, salty, sour, and savory. (umami) I lot of those "healthy meals" skipped out on "savory". (oh and East Asians add fishy but that could count as umami I guess.)
To me a good family meal is a hearty loving meal with flavor that feels the belly and warms the soul. My favorite family meals from my own home weren't salad or healthy low-fat versions of good food but the warm full meals. My favorite meals were country vegetables (our vegetarian night), barbecue chicken, and ranch style hash which was basically beef and rice. I loved stew and my mother's turkey and dressing. When I talk about these meals with women I have literally seen their noses sneer at me as if I said I ate roasted racoons.
A savory meal can be healthy as long as you don't eat 5 helpings of it. None of my kids are overweight and all of them are healthy. I freak out so much that I have the doctor check on them to make sure they are getting enough nutrients. They always pass. So there is nothing bad about feeding your kids foods with flavor and no need to torture them with bland health foods. Even the vegetarian Indian dishes are full of flavor!