Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs
In recent years, we have seen increasing emphasis on the importance of ensuring children with disabilities have the same opportunities as other children to receive an education and education-related benefits, such as school meals.
Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, a “person with a disability” is any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment.
To modify a school meal, a physician’s statement must identify:
- The child’s disability;
- An explanation of why the disability restricts the child’s diet;
- The major life activity affected by the disability;
- The food or foods to be omitted from the child’s diet and the food or choice of foods that must be substituted.
Brownsboro Child Nutrition Department may assist with the following once documentation is received and recorded at the Child Nutrition Office:
- Substitutions or modifications for students with disabilities must be based on a prescription written by a licensed physician.
- Substitutions for students without disabilities but with medically certified special dietary needs must be based on a statement by a recognized medical authority.
- Child Nutrition may make the necessary substitutions or modifications and may request the assistance of the parent/guardian.
Serving meals to students with documented disabilities involves two steps. Prior to making any diet substitutions or diet changes for any student with a disability, the following two steps must be completed:
- The parent/guardian must obtain a statement from the student’s physician and provide it to school officials and to the Child Nutrition Office. The statement must state the following:
There will be an evaluation of the physician’s statement to see if it includes the required information above and meets Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- The student’s disability
- An explanation of why the disability restricts the student’s diet
- The major life activity affected by the disability; and
- The food or foods to be omitted from the student’s diet and the food or choice of foods that must be substituted.
Child Nutrition may not accept a physician’s statement for a student with a disability and provide special meals without it first going through the two steps above. A parent/guardian must submit new documents to the Child Nutrition department at the beginning of each school year.
For students with disabilities who require modifications in texture (such as chopped, ground, or pureed foods), a licensed physician’s written instructions indicating the appropriate food texture is requested by Child Nutrition.
If Child Nutrition may assist with accommodating your student, or if you have questions, please contact 903-852-3131.
Child Nutrition Director
“Children First” United may we stand.....together we can make a difference in the life of a child.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.