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"...
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  3. Visit  Lev <3 profile page

    About Lev <3, BSN, RN

    Lev <3 has '2' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Med-Surg, ED'. From 'Another planet'; Joined Jun '11; Posts: 1,347; Likes: 2,041.

    39 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    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.
  5. Visit  blondebabe0625 profile page
    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.
  6. Visit  T-Bird78 profile page
    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.
  7. Visit  PD82 profile page
    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.
  8. Visit  NurseCard profile page
    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.
  9. Visit  amoLucia profile page
    3
    to NurseCard - neat idea but by 11-7 there's no bananas left around.
    DawnJ, NutmeggeRN, and weemsp like this.
  10. Visit  akulahawkRN profile page
    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!
  11. Visit  MunoRN profile page
    5
    I accept it and happily eat it.
  12. Visit  noyesno profile page
    1
    Take it and toss it.
    Lucky724 likes this.
  13. Visit  kungpoopanda profile page
    0
    I find a polite "no thank you" works just fine.
  14. Visit  DoeRN profile page
    2
    I usually tell them no thank you I just ate. Or I just ate but I will put it in the patient fridge for you to eat later on. Some people still insist but I'm funny about food. If it is something store bought and untouched and bought specifically for the staff then I'll put it in the breakroom and wash my hands and grab it right away. Otherwise I won't eat it and won't accept it.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
    LL143KnB and amoLucia like this.
  15. Visit  xoemmylouox profile page
    0
    If they bring it in a as a thank you, I wash my hands, and eat it up! Unless of course they were unhygienic while I cared for them. I LOVE homemade baked goodies.


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