World Health Day is celebrated every year on 7th April. This day is observed as a medium to spread global awareness about health. It is one of the 8 official global health campaigns decided by the World Health Organisation(WHO). With increase in urbanisation, there has been a marked change in the lifestyle and eating patterns of people. Why we need to worry about this is because these changes are not in favour of our health. Hence this day was decided as an approach to expand the wings of health and make more and more people aware of the vitality of staying healthy.

Along with World Health Day, we have one more occasion to celebrate - Navratri. On this occasion, people worship goddess Durga and observe fasts for 9 days. Foods like meat, onion, garlic and alcohol are usually avoided. Foods which are light and easy to digest are preferred like fruits and vegetables, milk and milk products, sago (sabutdana), buckwheat (kuttu), makhana, etc. But people at times end up consuming a lot of fried foods like tikki, pakore, cutlets, pooris, kofta, sugary foods, etc., and load on more calories than the required amount. So, here are a few delicious and healthy foods which can be opted and enjoyed while fasting.

1. Sago Khichdi - This recipe is delicious, healthy and gluten-free. It is usually prepared with peanuts and potatoes.

2. Kuttu Khichdi - This savoury recipe is gluten-free and healthy when cooked with nuts and vegetables.

3. Barnyard Millet / Samvat rice pulao - This tastes exactly like vegetable pulao. Just substitute normal rice with samvat rice and add veggies of your own liking.

4. Uttapam - Prepare this using barnyard millet flour and serve with green chutney or coconut chutney.

5. Tangy Pumpkin - Mildly spicy and sweet cooked pumpkin is easy to prepare and tastes yummy. This vegetable is loaded with nutrients like vitamin A, antioxidants and promotes digestive health as well due to the presence of dietary fibre.

6. Foxnuts / Makhana - Apart from fruits, they are an ideal and healthy snack if you feel like munching in between meals. Simply roast them, sprinkle rock salt and enjoy the snack.

7. Sweet Potato - Another healthy yet delicious option to relish during fast. Sweet potatoes are low in calories but loaded with vitamin A, dietary fibre, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6.

8. Makhana Kheer - Try this recipe to satisfy your sweet craving. It is easy to cook, healthy yet light on the stomach.

9. Fruit and Nut Smoothie - This yummy smoothie can be prepared using banana, low-fat yoghurt and walnuts. It is nourishing, healthy and naturally sweet.

10. Paneer Rolls - This protein-rich dish can be prepared using low fat paneer, potato, sendha salt and spices.

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