Special Meal Accommodations
Meal Substitutions for Medical or Special Dietary Reasons
USDA Regulation 7 CFR Part 15b requires substitutions or modifications in school meals for children whose disabilities restrict their diets. A child with a disability must be provided substitutions in foods when that need is supported by a signed statement from a licensed physician.
In Cases of Food Allergy
Generally, children with food allergies or intolerances do not have a disability as defined under either Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or Part B of IDEA, and the school food service may, but is not required to, make food substitutions for them. However, when the licensed physician’s statement says food allergies may result in severe, life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions, the child’s condition would meet the definition of “disability”, and the substitutions prescribed by the licensed physician must be made.
Food Allergies Not Requiring Meal Substitutions
In many cases, students do not require special meal substitutions and instead just avoid allergen containing foods. The cafeteria does their best to keep every child safe and free of reacting allergens. Point-of-sale alerts are used to monitor students with life threatening allergies. A physician statement must be provided to the school nurse in order for these alerts to set in the cafeteria.
Medical Statement for Children with Special Dietary Needs
There are situations where students need special meals. Each special dietary request must be supported by a statement explaining the requested food substitution and must be signed by a recognized medical authority. The Medical Statement must include:
- 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; and
- The food or choice of foods to be substituted.
If we do not receive a medical statement from a recognized medical authority, your child will receive a regular lunch tray. Medical statements completed by parents or guardians will not be accepted. MEDICAL STATEMENT TO REQUEST SPECIAL MEALS AND/OR ACCOMMODATIONS
When a student has an intolerance to fluid milk (lactose) there are three options available, and no physician statement is needed.
- Lactose free, vanilla milk
- Cup to fill at a water station
- Purchasing a bottle of water
For Additional Information please contact Erin Brattain, RD at 317-773-3171.