Meal Substitutions for Medical or Special Dietary Needs

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 state licensed physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner.

Generally, children with food sensitivities 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 in the licensed physician’s assessment, 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.

School food service may make food substitutions, at their discretion, for individual children who do not have a disability, but who are medically certified as having a special medical or dietary need. Such determinations are only made on a case-by-case basis. This provision covers those children who have food intolerances or sensitivities, but do not have life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions when exposed to the food(s) to which they have problems.

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 state licensed healthcare professional. 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, we are not able to provide the substitutions your child needs. Medical statements completed by parents or guardians will not be accepted.

Milk is the most frequent item for which substitutions are requested. Please see the detailed information attached.

Milk Allergy Information and Procedures

Medical Statement to Request Special Meals and/or Accommodations


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: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, 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:

(1)     mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)    fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)    email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.