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 medical professional.
In Cases of Food Allergy
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 as amended (Public Law 101-336, 42 U.S.C. 12101, ADA) the term ‘disability’ means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of the individual, a record of such an impairment or being regarded as having such an impairment.
The ADA lists several examples of “major life activities” that could be impacted by a disability. According to the statute, “major life activities” include (but are not limited to): caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.
General health concerns, such as a preference that a child eat a specific diet because the parent or guardian believes it is healthier for the child, are not disabilities and do not require a modification. School food service may make food substitutions, at their discretion, for individual children who do not have a disability but have requests for diet changes. Such determinations are only made on a case-by-case basis.
Medical Statement for Children with Special Dietary Needs
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:
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.