Accommodating Students with Disabling Special Dietary Needs
Schools participating in a federal Child Nutrition Program (School Lunch, School Breakfast or After School Snack Program) are required to make accommodations for children who are unable to eat the school meals because of a disability* that restricts their diet. In order to make modifications or substitutions to the school meal, schools must have a written Medical Statement on file that is signed by a licensed physician. The statement must identify:
· The child’s disability
· An explanation of why the disability restricts the child’s diet
· The major life activity affected by the disability
· The food(s) to be omitted from the child’s diet
· The food or choice of foods that must be provided as the substitute
*Only a physician can declare if a student has a disability.
Accommodating Students with Non-Disabling Special Dietary Needs
Schools may, at their discretion, make substitutions for students who have a special dietary need, but do not meet the definition of disability. Examples include food intolerances or allergies that do not cause life-threatening reactions. The decision to accommodate a student’s special dietary need can be determined on a case-by-case basis, however, the school should remain consistent with accommodating special dietary needs. In order to make modifications or substitutions to the school meal, schools must have a written Medical Statement signed by a recognized medical authority identifying the following:
· An identification of the medical or other special dietary condition which restricts the child’s diet
· The food or foods to be omitted from the child’s diet
· The food or choice of foods to be substituted
Milk Substitutions for Students with Non-Disabling Special Dietary Needs
For students with non-disabling special dietary needs which restrict their intake of fluid milk, the following applies.
Responsibility of Parents