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Accommodating children with special dietary needs

This MB applies to agencies and sponsors of School Nutrition Programs (SNP), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

Agencies have the option of making dietary accommodations for children who do not have a disability but are certified as having a medical or dietary need.

It is important to note that the Agency can make accommodations for children with special dietary needs on a case-by-case basis.

This MB contains updated information regarding the definition of a recognized medical professional.

The CDE recommends that sponsors read this MB in its entirety.

This toolkit was developed by CDC to help schools in implementing the Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in School and Early Care and Education Programs Tool Kit for Managing Food Allergies in Schools Food allergies affect approximately 4% - 6% of children in the United States.

Helping school staff to be prepared to prevent and manage a child’s severe allergic reaction can create a healthy environment where all school children can reach their full potential.

These include: functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, along with digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, and reproductive functions.

The Agency must provide food substitutions to a child with a disability when the need for a substitution is supported by a written medical statement or completed CDE Medical Statement form that is signed by a licensed physician, a physician assistant, or a nurse practitioner.

Either medical statement must clearly identify the child’s: The Agency is required to make dietary accommodations, including texture modifications (such as preparing chopped, ground, or pureed foods), when a recognized medical authority provides a medical statement to the Agency for children whose disability restricts their diet.

As defined in 7 Section 210.10(m), an individual who does not have a disability, but is unable to consume a particular food because of a medical or other special dietary condition, is considered to have a special dietary need.

The Agency may, but is not required to, make food accommodations for these children.