Special Dietary Needs

Confused about when food substitutions have to be made for a student?  The federal regulations state that "schools shall make substitutions in foods . . . for students who are considered handicapped . . .  and whose handicap restricts their diet.  Schools may also make substitutions for non-handicapped students who are unable to consume the regular lunch (breakfast) because of medical or other special dietary needs."

In simple terms, this means that if a student has a documented disability that restricts their diet, the school foodservice department MUST make the substitutions as listed by a licensed medical professional (MD, DO, NP, PA) on a medical statement form.

If, however, a request for food substitutions is made for a student without a documented disability, the school foodservice department MAY make the substitutions listed on the medical statement form signed by a recognized medical authority.

It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian making the request to submit a properly filled out and documented medical statement form.

Medical Statement: Please use this form for disabilities, non-disabilities or other diet preferences.



Additional guidance documents available upon request from MDE School Nutrition Programs team (mde-schoolnutrition@michigan.gov or 517-373-3347).