Modified Diets & Medical Statements
CHCCS & Chartwells are committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for students during meal times. We understand the importance of providing accurate nutrition, ingredient, and allergen information for students to make informed choices for their health and well-being and we are dedicated to creating a foodservice environment that ensures information accuracy.Our goal is to provide students and parents with information that will assist them with self management of their individual dietary needs in real-world environments.
Please note that, in alignment with NCDPI and USDA guidance & regulations, the Medical Statement for Students with Unique Mealtime Needs for School Meals will only be accepted for students with medically documented disabilities or food allergies. If your child has a food intolerance or non-medical dietary preference, please refer to the “How are students with food intolerances accommodated?” and “Does Child Nutrition accommodate non-medical dietary preferences?” sections below for more information.
Who is eligible for a modified diet?
Any student who is unable to eat regular school meals due to a medically documented disability according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or food allergy are allowed food substitutions when requested by a parent/guardian and documented on a Medical Statement for Students with Unique Mealtime Needs for School Meals is completed (available under the ‘Helpful Links’ section at the bottom of this page.
What is considered a disability?
Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a “person with a disability” means “any person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activity, has a record of such impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment.”
Major life activities covered by this definition include: caring for yourself, eating, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working. Major life activities also includes “Major Bodily Functions” such as: functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respirator, circulator, cardiovascular, endocrine and reproductive functions. The term “physical or mental impairment” includes but is not limited to, such diseases and conditions as:
- Orthopedic, visual, speech and hearing impairments
- Cerebral Palsy
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Heart Disease
- Metabolic diseases, such as diabetes or phenylketonuria (PKU)
- Food anaphylaxis (severe food allergy)
- Mental retardation
- Emotional illness
- Drug addiction and alcoholism
How do you accommodate students with Food Allergies (peanut, tree nut, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, sesame)?
Part A should be completed by the parent/guardian. Part A (page 1) of the Medical Statement includes all information needed from the parent/guardian and should be completed in its entirety.
Part B should only be completed by the Licensed Physician or Physicians Assistant, or Nurse Practitioner. Part B (page 2) of the Medical Statement is required as documentation of the medical need and should be completed in its entirety and signed by the Licensed Physician or Physicians Assistant or Nurse Practitioner.
If a Medical Statement from a licensed physician is not received by School Nutrition Services, the child’s diet order cannot be processed and he/she may receive a regular meal.
The current Medical Statement on file will be honored until a new Medical Statement is updated by the licensed physician and received by School Nutrition Services.
School staff must follow the dietary orders in the current Medical Statement on file and cannot make dietary changes without an updated form from the Licensed Physician or Physicians Assistant or Nurse Practitioner.
How are diet orders processed?
The school nurse will provide copies of the forms to the CHCCS Child Nutrition Dietitian, Christine Polk, and to other identified staff who may need information about the student's dietary status. Once a meal substitution is made, the school must be allowed time to implement the change (which can take up to two weeks based on the Mealtime Needs). The parent is responsible for providing the food until the change is made.
Every effort should be made to ensure that all students have access to eating in the cafeteria, the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).
What if there is a change to my child’s Mealtime Needs?
A new Medical Statement needs to be completed for any changes to a student’s Mealtime Needs. All changes must be received by the CHCCS Child Nutrition Dietitian, Christine Polk, for review before being implemented.The school must be allowed time to implement the change (which can take up to two weeks based on the Mealtime Needs). The parent is responsible for providing the food until the change is made. Additionally, CHCCS will require a Medical Statement to discontinue diet order.
How are students with food intolerances accommodated?
If your child has an intolerance to a specific food, Child Nutrition can often meet their needs through a variety of choices at breakfast and lunch. Students may select foods to meet their needs through the offer versus serve options*. Other dietary modifications may be provided by Child Nutrition on a case by case basis. Please refer to our online menus or the menus posted at your child’s school.
Does Child Nutrition accommodate non-medical dietary preferences?
If your child is a vegetarian or has other food preferences such as a pork-free diet, these needs are usually met daily via the variety of menu choices we currently offer at breakfast and lunch. Students may select items that meet their needs through the offer versus serve option*. Child Nutrition may provide substitutions for your child based on availability. Please refer to our online menus or the menus posted at your child’s school.
What is Offer vs Serve?
With the offer versus serve option, students may select the foods that fit their dietary needs. At least two grains, one fruit and milk are offered daily at breakfast. At least two entrees, two vegetables, one fruit and milk are offered daily at lunch.
Food Alergy Disclaimer
Food Allergy Disclaimer: Please be aware that Child Nutrition prepares our food in commercial kitchens, where cross-contact with food allergens is possible and where ingredient substitutions and recipe revisions are sometimes made. Additionally, manufacturers of commercial food products we order may change their product formulation or ingredient consistency at any time without notification. Actual ingredients and nutritional content may vary and we are not able to guarantee that any food item will be completely free of food allergens. If you have questions or any concerns regarding ingredients of a specific food or recipe, please reach out to the CHCCS Child Nutrition Dietitian. You can find contact information at https://www.chccs.org/Page/9493