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11 Nice Ways to Say 'No' to Food Pushers

Politely Turn Down Food at Parties and Gatherings


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  • This seems like these suggestions would be perfect for a party of friends or co-workers, but things seem to get sticky with family. I have a very difficult time with my family because even the meals that they think are healthy are really unhealthy. Every family function they want to plan around food. I just make sure that I eat healthily beforehand and concentrate on the healthiest side dish they have. It's difficult for sure! For those posting negative comments, any suggestion anyone has can give you is more than you had before. The more knowledge and experience we get the better and she's just trying to help us on our journey! - 4/25/2013 9:24:58 AM
  • Some of the responses here are a tad dramatic. This article has a host of responses because there are a variety of food pushers and situations. While for many, white lies will not work, are dishonest, etc. there are some people that will find that type of response useful. The same goes for the other *suggestions*. I agree that a lie (I have an allergy to x, I don't like y) may come back to haunt you, but if you realize that's the case choose a different response listed. Nothing is one size fits all. I'm assuming this article is a guide (like all the articles on SP). Everything must always be done while using discretion. Why do people get so passionately upset at some of these articles? Use discretion/ common-sense and apply advice to your life as you see fit... - 4/25/2013 9:23:14 AM
  • Once again, I am dismayed by the food bigotry of SparkPeople. Turning down the extra helping of potatoes or the famous apple pie? So, SparkPeople, you're saying it's okay to make the 3rd trip to the buffet for turkey? Filling up "instead" on the butter-laden steamed veggies is okay? What tripe!
    I agree with a lot of the posters: honesty is the best policy. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with this response: "Thank you so much but I can't have this anymore. I do remember it from before and it looks just as fabulous as ever!" - 4/25/2013 9:12:20 AM
  • Most of your suggestions have merit, but the first few hold problems in as much as you might not be telling the truth. It will always come back to bite you. People usually respect you more if you are honest. If someone offers to send food home with you, you could take it, portion it and /or freeze it for another time. It is very good though, to think through a few responses before you you don't cave in to pressure by being caught off guard. - 4/25/2013 8:52:06 AM
  • I have to agree with others who say honesty is the best policy. You can still compliment the cook, "that looks wonderful" etc. but if you're honest about your goals and consistent eventually your family and friends will get it. - 4/25/2013 7:37:23 AM
  • I would take just enogh to make thebprrson feel good. Because cooking take time and alot of hard wotk. Some people really go out for their guest. - 4/25/2013 7:37:13 AM
  • Many of these suggestions involve lying. People remember things you say and the next time they see you eating butter or whatever they will know. At that point the small bit of embarrassment you may have saved at the time is going to seem preferable to digging yourself out of a hole.

    Your friends and family they are important people. if you value them, tell them the truth. - 4/25/2013 2:48:34 AM
  • I just say - with a smile, "thanks, but I've already had more than enough." It works every time. - 4/25/2013 2:03:12 AM
  • Sometimes I say, "I'll just take a bite," which is easy if I serve myself, but if someone else dishes me out a 'bite' and it's too big, I will eat the size bite I intended, and let them know it was delicious if it was and say "I'd like more, but I don't have the room." It isn't too hard to do when I remember it can be a boundary violation and I don't want to feed codependency. - 4/19/2013 12:10:31 PM
  • Sorry, food allergies. Can't eat it. People certainly can't push food on you that might kill you! - 4/19/2013 8:17:26 AM
  • I prefer a firm "no thank you." repeated as often as necessary. Don't explain, don't make excuses. - 4/1/2013 2:22:26 PM
  • I liked most of the suggestions, but I disagree with lying. Lying is not "nice" at all. - 2/21/2013 4:01:18 PM
  • Great suggestions! I find these suggestions very helpful, I find it very hard to just say no, because I know food comes from the heart. I feel pretty rejected when people wont eat my food, because it is my way of expressing friendship and love, besides a lot of work goes into preparing meals, especially when you are a perfectionist like me haha.
    Anyway I will try some of these tips next time. - 2/19/2013 11:39:06 AM
  • I ask for a knife, and cut it in half, which brings it down to a reasonable portion. Sometimes people are offended that I don't eat it all, but that's their problem. Usually it's OK. If it's someone I know well, who's sympathetic to my eating principles, I eat a small portion and ask permission to take the rest home. Or sometimes all of it, if I've already eaten - 1/27/2013 11:55:11 AM
  • I've learned that it takes an average of THREE "No, thank you"s before people quit pushing food on someone. I've actually watched what happens with other people, and three seems to be the magic number of times! Interesting to me! Once I realized this to be the way most people operate, it made it easier for me to stick to my NO. Sometimes I've tried simply saying NO three times in a row, and it works! - 1/27/2013 7:25:21 AM

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