In India, older generations always considered the times during eclipses really important. Many of them avoided the eclipse time for doing anything new, especially something auspicious like weddings. In fact, they refrained from doing most of the things like traveling outside and preparing food. They believed that the eclipses make the cooked food slightly toxic, even if the consumption of food does not have an immediate direct impact. This is because sunlight is believed to have an effect on the food we prepare.
Even today, usually many people in India stay away from cooking food during the eclipse hours. They neither eat food nor drink water. Traditionally, it was believed that you should avoid food and water starting from 9 hours before a lunar eclipse and 12 hours before a solar eclipse. But it doesn't seem like anyone practicing this anymore. In today's life, most of the people who actually observe fasting during the eclipse times stay away from food and water only during the hours of eclipse.
Food is not prepared during the eclipse time and it is best not to use any left over food after an eclipse. So, many people prepare less amount of food just before an eclipse, so that there will be little or no left over food.
In case there is food remaining, it is believed that putting some holy basil leaves in the food can reduce the ill effects on food.
In order to end the fasting after an eclipse, it is advised to take a shower and wear clean clothes before starting to prepare food. It is believed that cooked food which includes any kind of flour is the most affected. Food items that do not require cooking, like fresh fruits are thought to be the least affected and so they are the safest food for consumption, in case anyone needs food. When I say fresh fruits, I do not mean the fruits that are still there in the trees which get exposed to the eclipse, but I mean the fruits kept in the kitchen.
It is also believed that drinking water should not be stored in any containers or bottles during the eclipse time.
In many households, people use either salt water or holy basil to purify the environment.
Solar eclipses are believed to have more effect on earth than the lunar eclipses, and so people observe strict fasting especially during the solar eclipse times.