Accomodating children with special dietary

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.

It would be wise to include food service staff on the IEP Team.

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 in lunches and afterschool snacks for students.

If a meal modification for a child’s disability can be made within the Program meal pattern, a medical statement is not necessary.

If your child has “life threatening” food allergies that are part of his disability you should read School plans should establish priorities for reducing the risk of exposure to food allergens and establish practices for responding to food allergies.

Situation: A child's parents have requested that the school prepare a strict vegetarian diet for their child based on a statement from a health food store "nutrition advisor" who is not a licensed physician. Situation: Some schools purchase items from nationally recognized fast-food chains and sell these items on an "a la carte" basis.Situation: A child has a health condition that does not meet the definition of "disability" set forth in the legislation and regulations.For example, the child is overweight (but not “morbidly" so), or the child has elevated blood cholesterol.Nutrition Services under an IEP IDEA requirements may impact the service of meals.Any nutrition-related services included in a child’s IEP deemed necessary for the child to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) must be provided at public expense and at no cost to the child’s family. Schools are reminded that they may have additional obligations to children with disabilities under the IDEA, beyond the scope of FNS guidance.

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For example, a food allergy does not need to causes anaphylaxis in order to be considered a disability.

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