Guidelines for Refusing Food without Offending

The problem for many to refuse food after it has been offered to you


Holiday parties are about to begin in a couple of weeks. Hosts go all out, putting time and effort into menus for their dinner parties. Sensing this, people, who have dietary requirements, allergies, or are health nuts often feel uncomfortable refusing their host's offering of certain foods.

Here are a few guidelines to refuse food without giving offense.

Put a smile on your face. It's hard to take offense when someone refuses with a big smile. Research has revealed smiling serves as a stress reducer and elevated-mood enhancer. Smiles are also infectious. Hosts will often return the smile and the refusal is graciously accepted.

Bring a favorite and fun food to the gathering. If you're a vegetarian, for example, take a home-made guacamole dip and tortilla chips. The host will be thrilled with your addition to the festivities. It's a win-win outcome.

Be honest. If you're allergic to a food item, say so. And say it with a smile. Give them the quick and dirty version, not the long and tedious.

Don't sermonize. People are at a party to enjoy themselves. Part of that is eating the forbidden foods. The sweets, the succulent meats, the green-bean casserole. Ugh (couldn't help that one).

Uphold your standards. If others want you to try that decadent chocolate torte, and you eschew sugar, use humor as a diversionary tactic. Be careful not to judge others' preferences as inferior to yours. Smile, use humor, and you'll prevail over the junkaholics.

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