There will be a plan to accommodate and ensure the safety of children who have food allergies and other dietary restrictions. The Classroom Special Diet report (7002)Special diets will be printed or reviewed (with initials and date) posted weekly.


  1. If a child requires a special diet due to a medical reason or a personal preference, Enrollment staff will fill out he “Special Diet Request” form in the Child Plus Health section. .  The Food Service Manager/RDN will review requests and enter approved special diets after collecting necessary documentation with the help of regional staff.
  2. If the request is based on a medical need, ODE’s Medical Statement form will be used to collect the medical authority’s signature. An acceptable alternative to the Medical Statement is a doctors note which includes: the major life activity or bodily function affected, foods to eliminate, foods to substitute, and a signature. HSOLC will accommodate all special diet requests made with this documentation, however, negotiations will take place with those for nut-based milks or products. The FSM will offer other nut-free alternatives to the family to maintain a nut-free kitchen. Additional documentation on the Medical Statement or note will follow.  If the request is a preference, ODE’s Meal Preference Request Form will be used to collect necessary information from the parent or guardian. HSOLC will accommodate preference requests that do not conflict with maintaining a nut free kitchen, as well as requests that do not cause full menu substitutions due to financial and labor considerations (for example, all organic items). In the case where HSOLC cannot meet the preference request, the FSM will contact the family to negotiate alternatives. FSM will document requests and follow up with family until appropriate forms are collected. Documents will be attached in the Approved Special Diet tab in Child Plus under the Health Domain. If special diet is non-reimbursable, FSM will subtract meals from monthly claim.
  3. If the special diet needs of the child are significant (i.e. diabetic diet, PKU diet, gluten free diet, etc.) then the RA, FSC or teacher, (or person doing the registration) will check in with the Health/Safety Consultant (HSC), and Food Service Manager (FSM) before telling the parents when the child can start.
  4. Every Monday (or first school day of the week) the special diet report from Child Plus will be printed or reviewed (with initials and date) and posted in kitchen and classroom. The special diet report will also be printed or reviewed (with initials and date) when a newly enrolled child is expected to attend. Teachers are responsible for assuring that special diets in their classroom are current.
  5. Food Service staff and Direct Service staff will ensure that a plan is in place for all children who have dietary restrictions prior to the first day of class.
  6. For children with diets that requires a significant amount of monitoring and extra preparation from the kitchen, special menus will be developed in consultation with a Registered Dietitian.
  7. Classroom Food Service Workers and substitutes must be informed about each child’s dietary restrictions by the teachers and other direct service staff. Food deliveries should be checked daily to ensure that food has been planned for any special diets at the site. Special diet substitution form will be reported daily and sent to the FSM at the end of each month.
  8. The HSC and FSM will coordinate with the family, direct service staff /regional managers and other specialists/consultants to assure that any needed follow-up occurs.
  9. The HSC will monitor allergy plans.
  10. All Direct Service teams will receive verbal and written education from the HSC and HS about Food Allergies and Food Intolerance.

This policy complies with Head Start Performance Standard 45 CFR Section 1304.23 .
It was approved by Policy Council on October 14, 1997. December 9 2003. December 2022.
Revised June 13, 2003; Revised October14, 2003. June 27,2006. August 17, 2006. June 2008. August 2009. September 2015. April 2021. November 2022
© 1995-2022. Head Start of Lane County. All rights reserved.

REVIEWED: April 2021. November 2022