Some people show appreciation with food at work. Birthdays, promotions, new hires and any other mile stone can easily be celebrated with a cake.
But not everyone can enjoy the food part of the festivities. A co-worker might be diabetic or allergic to an ingredient. Another might be trying hard to lose weight and the temptation is too much to even be in the same room as a cake.
This is where politely learning to refuse the offered food comes in handy. You don’t want to offend the person who thoughtfully brought in the cake or other item, but you don’t want to be wasteful either.
The easiest solution is to bring a dish to share that you know you can and want to eat. If the party is a surprise or you just don’t feel comfortable not partaking in the cake, get a small piece and carry it around with you. Feel free to stick your fork in and mash it up a little.
There is nothing wrong with saying you are full or have had enough. Find a solution that works for you and stick with it. Your co-worker will understand in the long run.