Accommodating children with special dietary needs

Students who require modified school lunch menus due to a disability, as defined by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or life-threatening food allergies, are eligible for special accommodations.USDA regulations require licensed medical physician statement that includes: -the child’s disability – an explanation of why the disability restricts the child’s diet -the major life activity that is affected by the disability -the food or foods to be omitted from the child’s diet, and the foodor choice of foods that must be substituted.

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When nutrition services are required under a child’s IEP, school officials need to make sure that school food service staff is involved early on in decisions regarding special meals.We will post the revision as soon as it is available.Nutrition Services under an IEP The guidance addresses IDEA 2004 and the ADA and makes it clear that if a student has a documented disability that restricts their diet, the school food service department must make the substitutions as listed by a licensed physician on a medical statement form.For allergies that are not life-threatening, but are of concern and noted on a student’s school enrollment form, a note will be placed on the student’s computerized lunch account.Students will be discouraged from choosing the offending foods, but no substutiions will be made.This blog is the second in our "Back to School Days" series and is a continuation of our discussion about effective communication with teachers and school staff.

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