Home science experts of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have called upon people to avoid buying commercial sweets and prepare them at home instead.
"Home-made sweets are not only economical, but also promise good quality," they said, urging people to shop wisely and pay attention to cleaning their houses and taking care of children.
Emphasising on taking precautions during preparation of sweets, Kiran Grover said sweets should be prepared using less sugar and ghee, and pulp of seasonal fruits or puree made of dry fruits like dates could be added to retain sweetness.
"Avoid sweets with syrup as they have more calories, and give preference to sweets made of paneer (cheese) over those made from khoya. Use skimmed milk to prepare dishes like kheer, custard and pudding," she added, advising that fruits should be preferred as they contained natural sugar, vitamins, minerals and fibre.
"Make salted snacks like matthi, mattri and senvian using high-fibre flour like bajra, ragi or soy flour, along with wheat flour, and add dehydrated leafy vegetables such as methi, palak or pudina. Eat dry roasted nuts and dry fruits in their natural form instead of fried, salted or sugared," she added.
Harinder Saggu stressed upon shopping wisely, ignoring the "glittering, overpriced and attractive" packaging, which may hide poor quality and duplicate items.
For home cleaning, Surinderjit Kaur advised that warm soapy water or vinegar water (two tablespoons of white vinegar in 500ml water) could be used to clean dirty and sticky wooden furniture.
"After cleaning, rinse and dry the furniture properly to avoid water marks. Polish furniture using equal amounts of turpentine and linseed oil, and remove stains from glass, copper and brass items using vinegar and salt or tamarind and salt," she added.
Sukhminder Kaur said children should be made to wear full-sleeved clothes, especially in the morning and evening.
"Do not allow children to eat colourful, decorated sweets and other eatables available in the market as they are harmful. Use herbs such as tulsi, mulathi, bnafashan, cinnamon and cardamom to cure ailments," she added.