3rd Trimester

Declining meals from friends? WWYD?

Our small group from church always does a meal rotation for families who've recently had babies. I've often participated in this but --- and I realize this is going to sound kind of bitchy --- but I'd rather not receive meals. I'm kind of the "granola" one of the group (I'm into organics, recycling, yoga, hypnobirthing, cloth diapering, etc), and we just honestly won't eat the meals that they bring. (It's a lot of casseroles, enchiladas, etc.) We try to eat fresh and organic only, and my mom will be here, plus MH gets paternity leave, so they will be available to cook.

They're a really sweet group of people, and I do appreciate them wanting to do meals for us. I just hate knowing that we're going to throw most of the food away and wondered if I should try to politely decline their offer of bringing meals, or if I should just gratefully accept, and toss the food. The only complicated thing is that they don't usually ask if you'd like to receive meals ... they just make a sign up sheet and ask when they should show up. :)

Re: Declining meals from friends? WWYD?

  • Is there someone you could pass the meals on to?  I'm in the same boat and DH and plan on freezing the meals and giving them to my bro.  He's like a garbage can and eats anything and everything...oh, crap, that sounds bad.  I mean the food's good, he just isn't picky about what he eats like I am! :-)
  • Id just tell them you already made stuff. I dont take food from other people just cause what if we dont like it then it gets thrown out.
  • If you don't feel comfortable asking them to not make meals, what about just passing them along to friends/neighbors who do eat the food they would make?  That way feelings aren't hurt and food isn't going to waste.  (I'd suggest a local soup kitchen or something, but I don't know if they'd take prepared meals or not...)
  • Is there someone you are really close to that you could talk with? Maybe mention that if someone does cook you would prefer certain foods or something?

    it may be tough to decline but if you are close to them, i am sure they would understand 


  • Our small group did the same thing... and I was by far the crunchy one. ?However, right after my second was born and after my mom left.. I was fine eating a few meals that weren't our norm. ?I was too tired to cook and my DH was exhausted too. ?It was wonderful.


    However, if you know you won't eat what they make... ?just say that you won't be needing meals. ?THey will go to a lot of trouble to make them and that is just disrespectful to pitch them knowing ahead of time that you won't eat them. ?My two cents.?

  • Since you've participated before then you must know someone who is going to participate for you.  I would ask someone to spread the word that you don't want them to do meals for you.  Times are tough and I wouldn't want people to spend money on food that's going to be tossed.
  • I wish I had this issue - will you send me your meals?

    If you really think you or DH won't eat them then let someone know.


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  • On the flip side, is there someone in the group you could talk to about your meal preference? I'm a vegetarian and all of the meals brought over were meatless because they knew that I wouldn't eat anything with meat in it (none of these people are vegetarians).  It does seem a bit demanding, but if you brought it up to someone you were particularly close to in a "I'm sure you guys are planning this, but I'm worried the food will go to waste as we don't eat x, y, and z or only cook with organic ingredients," I'm sure that the group would appreciate that their food was being eaten instead of tossed out.
  • any way you could request groceries instead of prepared meals? like maybe you could have a participating friend present a list of things ou stock your kitchen with that you'll need right away after delivery so that DH and mom can get cooking...
  • does anyone in the group know how you guys eat?  i think if one person could head it up and suggest healthy, organic whole foods only, i don't think that's a terrible request.  that's how you eat...it's like accepting meat if you're a vegetarian.  i think it would be fair to let the group know about certain food preferences.  not inappropriate, imo.
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  • Great ideas, ladies! I was just worried that I would hurt feelings, but you all seem to think it's pretty reasonable. I did check with local soup kitchens, and they do not accept prepared meals. I love the idea of asking for a grocery list instead of meals! I'd have more control over the ingredients that way, but they'd still get to help us/feed us. Fabulous -- I think that will work! Thank you!
  • Is there another family in church that is in need?  You could suggest that they take meals to them instead of you.  You could even say, "I've really wanted to do something for the X family, but just haven't.  My mom is going to be here, and she and DH can cook, so why don't you take our meals to them?"  We would be in a similar situation if our group did something like this.  DH is a SUPER picky eater, and I'm sure he wouldn't eat any of what people brought.
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  • image americanada:
    i think it would be fair to let the group know about certain food preferences.  not inappropriate, imo.

    This.  And...I'm seconding the poster who mentioned just receiving groceries instead of full meals.  You could even make up a simple list of things you run out of often (organic milk, juice, "easy" fruits like apples and bananas, cereal, etc), and people could bring you a couple of bags.  They'd probably be delighted not to cook!

    They want to help.  Your job is to find a way to tell them how they can.  Throwing food away isn't really a good idea, but you deserve to have the types of food you eat normally, too--especially during a time like post-partum!  Groceries, with a simple list of suggestions and brands, might be the perfect thing to suggest. 

  • I don't think it would hurt feelings at all if you declined but instead asked for gift cards for groceries or something. You could also ask for them to stop by for an hour and help out with LO while you take a much needed nap or something else. Just a thought!
  • I would just decline.  There is no way I would ask people to buy me organic (ie, several times more expensive) food.
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  • Will you be having any house guests who WOULD eat those meals?  If so, perhaps keeping some on hand for when friends/family unexpectedly "pop" in around dinner out might be a good idea.  


  • Maybe you could just ask them to donate the meals to a shelter? Or if they bring them to your house, have DH bring them to a shelter.
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