Festivals are the time when people consume special foods which they normally wouldn’t. In India, it is an unspoken rule that cultural celebrations call for a little relaxation of rules when it comes to healthy eating and diet.
As we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, some people may think it is all right to indulge in different kinds of sweets and call it ‘cheat-day’. But, instead of doing that, they can opt for plenty of nutritious and healthy meals and food items, which will give them the taste they desire without compromising on health.
Minal Shah, a senior nutrition therapist at Fortis Hospital, Mulund lists various food items which must be had and those that must be avoided during this Ganesh Chaturthi. Read on.
* Ukdiche modak can be made with variations like coconut/cucumber/beetroot/chana dal. It is definitely on the must-haves for Ganesh Chaturthi.
* Rishi bhaji made on Rishi Panchami is a mix of all the seasonal vegetables and is an extremely healthy festive food to eat with chapati or rice.
* Thalipeeth is also a nutritious festive special made with multi-grains like chana dal, urad dal, rice and wheat flour, topped with some ghee or butter or curd.
* Panchkhadya distributed during Ganpati visarjan is made of puffed jowar, puffer parboiled rice, chana dal, jaggery and dried coconut; it is also a healthy food to try.
* Alu che fadfad, made from colocasia leaves, white corn, pumpkin, lal math stem (deth) and peanuts, is a vegetable offered to Lord Ganesha, and is a must-have.
* Kelfulachi bhaji made from banana flowers, black watana and coconut is a delicacy offered to the Lord, and can be had this festive occasion.
During the festive season, some people fast till the puja and then have a light dinner, comprising soup, sprouts, and salads to balance the day.
– Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival of desserts offered as ‘prasad’. It is crucial to avoid binging, especially if they are ready-made sweets.
– Avoid deep-fried food like papad, fried karanji, fried modak, etc.
– If you are fasting, avoid oily foods like sabudana vada, potato wafers. You can include fruits, buttermilk, lemon juice and milkshakes as fillers.
– Avoid aerated beverages/sugary drinks.
– Try to avoid visiting your relatives, friends or too many places this year to reduce your chances of contracting the infection. Try not to consume roadside food items to prevent the risk of foodborne infections.