Refusing food offered by patients

  1. 1
    All to often patients very sweetly offer me some food, sometimes from their tray that they didn't touch or sometimes some home baked "specialty" made just for me. How do you tactfully refuse food offered by patients? Especially in cultures where refusing food is a "sin"...
    TheCommuter likes this.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 39 Comments...

  3. 26
    To avoid offending anyone, I always accept any food that has been gifted to me by patients and families, even the stuff I know I'm never going to eat.

    When the individual who gave me the food is not around, I will discreetly throw it away. Problem solved!
    Lev <3, imintrouble, nrsang97, and 23 others like this.
  4. 1
    Exactly what they said! ^^^^

    I have been put on the spot by a resident before lol who had a open bag of food and asked me to try some and ahh it was hard to do it... But I did.
    Lucky724 likes this.
  5. 1
    Either claim a food allergy or take it with a polite smile and thank you, tell pt you'll eat it at lunch and when you go to the breakroom to put it in the fridge, leave it for someone else to enjoy.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  6. 4
    Say thank you but you just ate, but will eat it later. Then leave it at the nurses station or break room--someone there will have no problem eating it ;-)
    Lev <3, LL143KnB, not.done.yet, and 1 other like this.
  7. 8
    I used to have a resident who was constantly offering food; leftover food from her tray or snack,
    food brought in by her friends, leftover snack, etc.. I would usually just say "oh no, I'm fine,
    I just ate!".

    I would usually accept her bananas though. They were usually nice and ripe and soft, and
    I had a resident who was diabetic and on pureed/thickened food only. I'd use those
    bananas to make nice early morning concoctions for this diabetic resident, whenever his
    sugar was low!
    Lev <3, mrsmamabear2002, diver117, and 5 others like this.
  8. 3
    to NurseCard - neat idea but by 11-7 there's no bananas left around.
    DawnJ, NutmeggeRN, and weemsp like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from TheCommuter
    To avoid offending anyone, I always accept any food that has been gifted to me by patients and families, even the stuff I know I'm never going to eat.

    When the individual who gave me the food is not around, I will discreetly throw it away. Problem solved!
    I pretty much do the same thing. Where I work, however, there are quite a few people that I've gotten to know very well and, depending upon what it is, may accept food from them. Most of the time, I just either politely refuse (because I've already eaten) or because I'm trying to lose a bit of my spare tire, or I'll come up with something along those lines. However, I always thank the person for the offer of food! Usually the reason I come up with is very plausible, so it's usually a very socially acceptable food refusal. Of course, where I work, we're pretty much homogenous in terms of food culture. There really aren't very many people who would be offended by refusing food.

    Of course I'm also very much into trying different foods than what I was brought up with, so it's not unusual for me to sample some foods just because I really want to try the stuff!
  10. 5
    I accept it and happily eat it.
  11. 1
    Take it and toss it.
    Lucky724 likes this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top