Special dietary needs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) require that schools make substitutions to the regular meal for students who are unable to eat the meal because of their disabilities. This need must be certified by a licensed physician.

Substitutions are required for students that have:

  • A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities including eating

  • Food allergies that may result in severe, life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions

These conditions meet the definition of “disability” and substitutions prescribed by the licensed physician must be made.

Substitutions for students without disability

Menu substitutions or modifications are only made for medically-documented needs.

Food allergies or intolerances

Children with food allergies or intolerances that are not defined as life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions are not considered to have a disability. It is not required that we make food substitutions for non-life threatening allergens or intolerances. However, the Student Nutrition Services Department is happy to work with families on a case-by-case basis.

Religious or personal preferences

Menu substitutions or modifications will not be made for personal requests, including religion or personal preferences. Nutrition information is available to help you plan your meals in a way that fits with your preferences.   

Make a diet modification request

Student Nutrition Services must receive a signed statement by a licensed physician or other licensed health-care provider before any menu substitutions or modifications will be considered.

A new form is not required each year. However any changes to a student’s health needs must be updated and include a signed statement from a licensed physician or health-care provider.

Required Form

Please use this form.  No other medical statements will be accepted.

Diet modification request form

For more information, see the parent letter below:

Diet modification parent letter

Diet modification parent letter - Spanish

Diet modification parent letter - Vietnamese