Hinduism accords Food the highest priority.
Sikshavalli of the Taittiriya Upanishad starts , after Invocation and general instructions, with the explanation and description of the importance of food.
Sikshavalli is an anthology of instructions by the teacher to the students.
‘Never Insult Food, let this be your vow”
Annanna Nindhyath That Vratham’
So Rules have been laid as to how one should eat and how the food is to be served.
The Smriti declares that one who eats once a Day is a Yogi,
Twice a Bhogi (Glutton), and
Thrice a Day is Rogi (Sick person)
One has to take one meal around Noon after Madhyanniha of Sandhya Vandanam.
One light snacks, Lahu Aahara at Night before sunset, after evening Sandhya Vandana.
1.Food is to be taken in a Plantain Leaf, with its tapering part(shorter end) intact.
2.One should face either the East or the North. Facing East will bring all that is Good including Longevity; North Wealth.
3.The Plantain leaf is to be placed with its tapering end at the left side of the Diner.
4.The leaf should be sprinkled with water, which should be placed at the left hand side of the Diner, and cleaned with the right hand by the Diner.
5.No conversation is allowed during the Meal.
6.Water should not be drunk during the Meal, except when one has hiccups; it can be drunk after Meal.
8.Items to be served from the top right hand corner (directions from the view of the Diner), in the following order.
Pickles,and table salt at the top left hand corner of the Plantain Leaf.
9.Cooked Dal at the left hand side of the leaf by the side of Payasa.
13.After Parishajana Sambar.
15,Second helping of dishes.
16.After Sambar Rice is over, Rice and Rasam is to be served.
19.Rice followed by Curds or Butter Milk.
20, The food is to be served neither more nor less.
21.If one needs more, it should be indicated by gestures touching the place it has been served.
22.If one has enough, it has to be indicated by lifting the left palm at the face height.
23.The Diner must complete the Parishajana after food is fully consumed.
24.The leaf should be left with some food;the leaf must never be totally clean;it is the practice to leave some food the top right hand corner of the Plantain leaf once the food is served for the consumption by the animals.
25.The house holder’s wife must take the Plantain leaves to bring in Prosperity.
27.The leaves should be left at a specific place for animals, Dogs, especially, to eat.
28.Thamboola is to be offered.
29.The house holder must prostrate before the Diner after he washed his hands.
30.The Diner should Bless the Host with Vedic Benediction.
This post is based on Apastamba Sutra based Smritis; variations(slight ) are there for Vaishnavas and for different regions-For South India.
I am unable to find information for the North.
Readers may contribute.
But the core is the same.
- Ayush Homa First Birth Day Hinduism Details (ramanan50.wordpress.com)