Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs in the School Nutrition Programs
USDA regulations at 7 CFR 15b require 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 statement signed by a LICENSED PHYSICIAN. The physician’s 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 or foods to be omitted from the child’s diet, and the food or choice of foods that must be substituted.
Children without disabilities, but with special dietary needs requiring food substitutions or modifications, must also submit documentation by a recognized medial authority.
The physician’s statement must be submitted to the school office and will be kept with the child’s records. A listing of those children with special dietary needs will be posted in the school kitchen, accessible to staff only.
School kitchens are not able to make modifications to meals based on food choices of a family or child without a physician’s statement.
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
- Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
- Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.