Modified Diets: Roles of Adults

      • Below is a list of roles from USDA regulations & guidance for adults in supporting the management of students’ unique needs. Please note that this is not an all-inclusive list. 



        • Have a Medical Statement for Students with Unique Mealtime Needs for School Meals  form completed by a recognized medical authority for any student unable to eat regular meals due to a disability (form can be obtained from school Nurse, Child Nutrition, or on-line)

        • Submit a meal modification Medical Statement to the school Nurse

        • Allow the school adequate time to implement the changes (typically 2 weeks).

        • Provide the food substitutions until the modified diet changes are made by the school


        School Nurses

        • Serve as school contact for parents regarding modified diets

        • Provide a copy of the completed Medical Statement form to the cafeteria manager, Child Nutrition dietitian, and, as indicated, the classroom teacher and Exceptional Children's Program Facilitator or 504 Coordinator

        • Develop an Individual Health Plan to address modified dietary needs if there is no IEP or 504 plan that addresses the need


        Child Nutrition Staff

        • Dietitian - Plan for food substitutions

        • Cafeteria staff - Prepare and serve food (preparation to plate)


        All School Staff

        • Read information on use of microwaves and acceptable food in the classroom


        Trained School Staff

        • Assist with feeding as necessary (plate to mouth)

        • Report any feeding concerns to parent/guardian

        • Ensure that students have access to eating in the cafeteria, the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

        **Please note that eating in the classroom is not LRE**



        • Assist with the oral phase of swallowing (for example: seating and positioning, adaptive equipment, chewing and bolus preparation and oral transit, and staff and parent training as appropriate)

        ***Please Note - Pharyngeal transit and esophageal transit issues are addressed outside of the school setting***