Children with Special Dietary Needs

Per the Code of Federal Regulation (Title 7-Agriculture, Vol. 4, Part 210, Subpart C-Requirements for School Food Authority Participation) schools must make substitutions in lunches and afterschool snacks for students who are considered to have a disability under 7 CFR 15b.3 and whose disability restricts their diet. Substitutions must be made on a case by case basis only when supported by a written statement of the need for substitution(s) that includes recommended alternate foods, unless otherwise exempted by FNS. Such statement must be signed by a licensed physician.

Exceptions for non-disability reasons. Schools may make substitutions for students without disabilities who cannot consume the regular lunch or afterschool snack because of medical or other special dietary needs. Substitutions must be made on a case by case basis only when supported by a written statement of the need for substitutions that includes recommended alternate foods, unless otherwise exempted by FNS.

Schools may make substitutions for fluid milk for non-disabled students who cannot consume fluid milk due to medical or special dietary needs. A school that selects this option may offer the nondairy beverage(s) of its choice, provided the beverage(s) meets the nutritional standards. A medical authority or the student’s parent or legal guardian must submit a written request for a fluid milk substitute identifying the medical or other special dietary need that restricts the student’s diet.

Schools should consider ethnic and religious preferences when planning and preparing meals. Variations on an experimental or continuing basis in the food components for the meal pattern in paragraph (c) of this section may be allowed by FNS. Any variations must be consistent with the food and nutrition requirements specified under this section and needed to meet ethnic, religious, or economic needs.

If your child needs a dietary substitution other than limited intake of milk, contact the Nutrition Specialist. If the need is for limited intake of milk, provide the medical note to the Nutrition Services Manager at your child’s school.