boy in cafeteria

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. Find information to help you plan meals on School Cafe, or learn about nutrition on our nutrition information page.

Diet modification requests

Student Nutrition Services must receive a signed statement by a licensed physician or other licensed healthcare providers before any menu substitutions or modifications will be considered.

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

Making a modification request

Fill out the Diet modification request form and return it to your school nurse. No other medical statements will be accepted. For more information, see the parent letter below:

Removing a modification request

A signed statement by the parent or guardian must include the student's name, ID number, and the modification or allergens being removed.

Contact us

For more information about school meals, contact:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.