Special Dietary Needs
Confused about when food substitutions must be made for a student when school meals are concerned?
If a student has a documented disability or medical issue that restricts his or her diet, the school foodservice department MUST make the substitutions as listed by a licensed medical professional (MD, DO, NP, PA) on a completed medical statement form.
If, however, a request for food substitutions is made for a student without a documented medical issue, the school foodservice department MAY make the substitutions listed on the medical statement form signed by a recognized medical authority. Any substitution of this kind must fully meet the reimbursable meal pattern.
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.
- Request for Special Dietary Needs Accommodations (updated September 2017)
Additional guidance documents available upon request from MDE School Nutrition Programs team (MDE-SchoolNutrition@michigan.gov or 517-373-3347).
- USDA Manual, Accommodating Children with Disabilities in School Meal Programs - Select under "Guidance and Handbooks" section (updated July 2017)
- USDA Memo SP 26-2017 - Accommodating Special Dietary Needs in School Meal Programs: Guidance and Q&A(released 4-2017)
- USDA Memo SP 59-2016 - How to Accommodate Special Dietary Needs in School Meal Programs (released 9-2016)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Food Allergy Resources
- Food Allergy Resources and Education - Special Dietary Needs Resources
- Institute of Child Nutrition - Special Dietary Needs Resources
Special Dietary Needs Form