It is an important customary for all Sanata Dharmis to place the daily food s in front of the deities before eating and offer them to God. This is called Naivedyam. If we have Tulasi leaves we can keep couple of them on top the food. We do this ritual with dedication and there after the food are called Prasadam. Tasting the food during preparations or eating the food before offering it to God is a forbidden act. The food is placed before a deity and prayers are offered. After that the food is consumed as a holy offering. The offerings may include cooked food, sugar canes, and fruits. Great care is taken when food is cooked for the deity..
This is the way our Santan Dharmies say “ Thankyou “ to God who gives us our daily food. Also This is the occasion for us to pray for others, that may Krishna bestow the same mercy on others so that all get the food and no one is left hungry.
Learned people recite the Gita verses while having meals so that this activity may be changed into sacrifice. This reminds us that food is not only intended to appease our taste. Thinking of God before taking food makes it as a spiritual act. Thanking God for not only providing food but also a health to eat that food.
Dharmic Sastrass declare that eating Food without offering to God is first considered as stealing. One more reason is that food which is made of natural resources contain impurities, and in present times we have chemicals as well.
When we offer food to God, he will take away all the impurities and the consequences born out of anger and anguish of the producer. And we all know, we are because of what we think and what we think is because of what we eat . We need to prepare the food to God after we take a shower. We recommend all the Sanatan Dharma to offer Naivedyam to God then eat.
Here is a slok given below along with video / text with translation that may be recited while doing neivedyam also that you may say.
Maha Prasade Govinde
visvaso naiva jayate
sarira abidya-jal, jodendriya tahe kal,
jibe phele bisaya-sagore
ta’ra madhye jihva ati, lobhamoy sudurmati
ta’ke jeta kathina somsare
(2)krsna baro doyamoy, karibare jihva jay,
swa-prasad-anna dilo bhai
sei annamrta khao, radha-krsna-guna gao,
preme dako caitanya-nitai
O king, for those who have amassed very few pious activities, their faith in maha-prasada, in Sri Govinda, in the Holy Name and in the Vaisnava is never born.
1) O brothers! This material body is a network of ignorance, and the senses are one’s deadly enemies, for they throw the soul into the ocean of material sense enjoyment. Among the senses, the tongue is the most voracious and verily wicked; it is very difficult to conquer the tongue in this world.
2) O brothers! Lord Krsna is very merciful-just to control the tongue He has given us the remnants of His own food! Now please eat these nectarean grains while singing the glories of Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, and in love call out “Caitanya! Nitai!”