Accommodating children special dietary needs

The program director or child care provider should ask parents about food needs and family eating patterns before enrolling their child in the child care program.

Decide whether or not the program can provide the foods that meet the child’s special dietary needs before agreeing to enroll that child in the child care program.

Planning to accommodate a child's special dietary needs should begin before that child is enrolled in the child care program.If a requested substitution meets the meal pattern requirements under any child nutrition program, the substitution can be made, but is not required.​​​ Substitutions must be made to the regular meal, including milk for any child with disabilities (i.e.a life-threatening reaction when exposed to the food and/or beverage) when the following two requirements are met: For children with disabilities only requiring modifications in food texture (such as chopped, ground, or pureed), a licensed physician's written instructions indicating the appropriate texture is recommended, but not required.This includes education and education-related benefits, such as school meals.This MB contains updated information regarding the definition of a recognized medical professional.

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