I was thinking about this thread as I was making our (not so healthy) supper tonight.
I was remembering that when we were switching from eating the standard American diet, to more healthier options, it was most helpful to take what we already liked, and make it healthier. Our tastes have slowly evolved, but we do still mostly eat healthy versions of the stuff most people eat. We've added a new vegetable here or there, or tried different methods of preparing things (like roasting or steaming).
For example, tonight was a cheater meal. We were supposed to go to a potluck today, and I didn't feel like cooking for it yesterday. So, I had grabbed a bag of frozen meatballs at the store. (It was a looooooooooong night, and I wound up staying in my pjs most the day, and we didn't go). So, tonight, I threw the meatballs in a 9x13 dish, mixed equal amounts of chili sauce and red plum jelly, and baked it (covered) at 400 until hot. Usually, I still would have done the chili sauce and red plum jelly (it's not a regular meal for us...a little sugar won't kill you. :)), but I would have made my meatballs. Oatmeal, fresh eggs, chopped onion and green pepper from the farmer's market, maybe a tomato, and ground beef from a grass fed cow, maybe a little salt or fresh herbs. I've been known to throw in a shredded zucchini that needed used, or something like that, too. Roll it into balls, and bake them at 350 for 30-45 minutes. (That also makes great meatloaf.) So, the standard "crockpot of junk meatball recipe" actually is pretty good for you. You can even bake them on a rack in a roaster to let the extra fat drain off better. (And, if you are really ambitious, you can make your own sweet and sour sauce.)
Then, with the meatballs, instead of fries, we had potatoes cut into chunks (not peeled), with a little olive oil, garlic powder, and salt on them. I also threw all that into a 9x13, and popped them in the oven beside the meatballs. Then, I opened two cans of green beans and put those in a covered dish, and put that in the oven, too. Everything baked for about an hour, while I folded laundry and played with the kids, and tada...supper. No preservatives (if I had made my own meatballs, and extra veggies, too), low salt (no salt canned green beans), and potatoes with some good fat. Some antioxidants if I had used crushed fresh garlic instead of garlic powder.
Oh, and little changes like garlic powder. I always use garlic powder and salt, instead of garlic salt. Garlic salt has stuff in it to make it free flowing, and also preservatives. Garlic powder is just garlic. I read all the ingredients very carefully of what I buy. I do make some compromises, but I try to get everything to just be food, no preservatives, coloring, or modified anything. After you get in the habit of it, it's really not hard to do. Oh, I also try to avoid soy and added yeast.
Another example is yogurt. Most people consider that a health food, but it really isn't. Unless you buy totally plain cultured milk (and you really have to check the labels, even of the ones that say plain), you are getting preservatives and sugars. When I buy it, I buy the one ingredient stuff, and throw in a T or so of powdered probiotics before the kids eat it. (Makes it taste fruity). If I have them, I might also throw in some frozen or fresh berries. They LOVE it..and there is no sugar.
Smoothies, done right, can taste almost like milkshakes, I use 1c orange juice, 1 c milk or yogurt, 1 banana, a handful of spinach, and several cubes of ice. SO good. Again, I use the freshest, best grown stuff I can afford. Fresh squeezed oj, etc. Serve it in a colored glass, and he'll never know the spinach is there. My kids think it's hilarious they can't taste it. For a little extra healthiness, sometimes I add probiotics, and vitamin c powder. (Gotta watch out for the vit c, though...it can taste salty and bitter). Sometimes we have these for dessert. In the beginning, I did add sugar, but we don't need that anymore.
If I had premade homemade meatballs in the freezer, the whole meal took about 10 minutes to put together. :)
I also have made strawberry ice cream (needs to be fresh from a farm, and in season), using just strawberries and milk. It was sooooooooooooooo good. And totally healthy. Some whole milk, especially from a farm, with a tiny bit of sugar home frozen is amazing, too.
A funny thing happened to us, especially dh. He doesn't care for the packaged stuff anymore. He, who said it really didn't matter, can taste a difference, and would pick fresh over not any day now. :)
My point is, just be careful to start with really great ingredients, and whatever you wind up with will still be generally good for you. You don't have to go way out on a limb, especially in the beginning, with lots of new tastes and textures.