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Nutrition Services Branch logo and link to home page.
 Welcome to, the website of the North Carolina Nutrition Services Branch.
NC Department of Health and Human Services (N.C. DHHS)
NC Public Health (NCPH)
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Nutrition Services
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  • 1914 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1914
  • Phone: (919) 707-5800 (WIC, FMNP Programs) OR
  • (919) 707-5799 (CACFP)
  • Fax: (919) 870-4818 (WIC, FMNP Programs) OR
  • (919) 870-4819 (CACFP)
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Special Diet Needs

Special Diet Needs | Individualized Education Plan (IEP) | 504 Accommodation Plan

This section assists parents or guardians with children who have special dietary needs.  If your child has been identified as having a disability and has special dietary needs, changes can be made to your child’s school breakfast and/or lunch at no extra charge with the proper written medical statement from your physician.

Find out if your children can benefit:

Is your child eligible?

Your child is eligible if he or she has been identified as having a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and has special dietary needs.

What kind of condition would make your child eligible?

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, a “person with a disability” means any person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment. A major life activity is defined as caring for one's self, eating, doing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working. The term “physical or mental impairment” includes many diseases and conditions. Here are some examples:

  • Cancer
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Drug Addiction and Alcoholism
  • Emotional Illness
  • Epilepsy
  • Food Anaphylaxis (Severe Food Allergy)
  • Heart Disease
  • HIV Disease
  • Mental Retardation
  • Metabolic Diseases, such as Diabetes or Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Orthopedic, Visual, Speech, and Hearing Impairments
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Tuberculosis

*Please refer to the Acts noted above for a more detailed explanation.

For more information on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, please visit the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Web site.

Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The term child with a “disability” under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) means a child evaluated in accordance with IDEA as having one or more of the recognized disability categories and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.

  • Autism
  • Deaf-Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Hearing Impairments
  • Mental Retardation
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Orthopedic impairments
  • Other health impairments due to chronic or acute health problems, such as Asthma, Diabetes, Epilepsy, a Heart Condition, Hemophilia, Lead Poisoning, Leukemia, Nephritis, Rheumatic Fever, Sickle Cell Anemia, Tuberculosis
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visual Impairment, including Blindness

*Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may fall under one of the thirteen categories. Classification depends upon the particular characteristics associated with the disorder and how the condition manifests itself in the student, which will determine the category.

For more information on Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, please visit the U.S. Department of Education IDEA Web site.

What kind of meal changes can be made?

Here are some examples:

  • Food restriction (milk and milk products, eggs, other)
  • Increased calories
  • Texture changes (pureed, ground, chopped, thickened liquids)
  • Tube feeding
  • Weight management (calorie-controlled)

Find out what forms must be completed:

Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs for School Meals

The Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR Part 15b) requires accommodations, substitutions or modifications in school meals for children whose disabilities restrict their diets. A child with a disability must be provided substitutions in foods when that need is supported by a statement signed by a licensed physician. The physician’s statement must identify:

  • The child’s disability
  • An explanation of why the disability restricts the child’s diet
  • The major life activity affected by the disability
  • The food or foods to be omitted from the child’s diet and the food or choice of foods that must be substituted


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September 11, 2015 9:04 AM