If dietary modifications are required, a completed and signed Medical Statement for Students with Unique Mealtime Needs for School Meals must be secured. The Medical Statement must be signed by a licensed physician. Based on a federal mandate from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the N.C. Department of Public Instruction requires a signed statement when making dietary accommodations for students that includes the child's disability or medical condition, an explanation of why the disability or medical condition restricts the
child's diet, the major life activity affected, and the food or foods to be omitted from the child's diet and the food or choice of foods that must be substituted.
The Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs for School Meals has been formatted to include all information required by USDA when accommodating students with special dietary needs. It also includes information needed by the Individualized Education Plan Program (IEP) Team or 504 Accommodation Plan Committee and other professionals involved in developing plans to adequately serve the needs of the student. When a student’s 504 Accommodation Plan or Individualized Education Program (IEP) is being developed, the respective team must include the Child Nutrition administrator in making decisions regarding accommodation of special dietary needs through the Child Nutrition program.
Food anaphylaxis (life‐threatening allergy) is considered a disability. If the student’s allergy does not result in anaphylaxis, it is still recommended to gather as much information as possible to best assist the student; the Medical Statement can assist in obtaining complete details regarding the student’s allergy and any requested dietary accommodations. The Local Education Agency (LEA), Child Nutrition program may make food substitutions, at their discretion, for individual students who do not have a disability, but who are medically certified as having a special medical or dietary need. Such determinations are made by the LEA on a case‐by‐case basis. This provision covers those students who have food intolerances or
allergies but do not have life‐threatening reactions (anaphylactic reactions) when exposed to the food(s) with which they have problems.
Under no circumstances should school staff interpret, revise or change a diet order.