It's interesting isn't it, what people eat and why? I had a few thoughts.
One is that if you're just judging on what they eat when you're there it might not be their regular diet. I reconnected with a childhood friend a few years ago and we each kept making each other bland food because that's what we thought the other was used to. Meanwhile we'd both changed considerably and were like, shopping special for each other. That was kind of funny.
Second I guess I sympathize a bit because growing up there were years when we pretty much ate: hamburger helper, mac & cheese, hot dogs and iceberg lettuce salad, meatloaf, spaghetti, on a sort of rotation. I have not eaten like that in years and yet when I was thinking about "what do kids eat," of course what came to mind were the things that I ate growing up. It was kind of deep culture there or something.
Third and generally, I totally agree with a PP who said some people just keep on making what they have always made. I can actually get a tofu stir fry or even a homemade pasta with a walnut-spinach pesto put together faster than many pre-prepared foods NOW but it took a few years to develop a brain that would pick those as go-to recipes... and it is not perfect, let me tell you. My thing is pizza... I intellectually know that I can make a much better meal faster than it can get here, but it is the ritual of ordering the pizza and then NOT THINKING for 30 minutes that gets me from time to time (and that is okay.)
Fourth, although I do think a healthy diet is pretty huge for me, I don't always exercise the way I should. I know I should. I used to. And I don't. I really do know all the benefits and I really would like to get with it again, and yet, on a daily basis, I choose to clean my house, sit on my porch, garden, meal plan, cook, or even just relax and post on MDC instead. It's just where I am this year
. It's partly time but it's also mental energy.
I know I would feel really bad if friends were judging me on that. I can only handle so much in my life and this year, exercise is the one thing that's dropped. Maybe you could extend a bit of compassion to your friends that for whatever reason, cooking in a different way is not their thing this year.