Special Dietary Needs

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) provides resources for School Food Authorities to help meet the special dietary needs of infants and children and maintain records to document compliance with meal requirements. Several federal regulations and state statutes apply to accommodating students with special dietary needs. Refer to the resources below for additional information, template forms and instructions.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Memos
Links to key USDA memorandums on Special Dietary Needs are provided below.

  • Fluid Milk Substitutions in the Child Nutrition Programs - 10/25/18
    Non-dairy beverages that meet USDA's fluid milk substitution criteria.
  • Special Diet Statement - 8/15/18
    Form to request a special diet for a participant with a disability.
  •  - 8/8/18
    Description of requirements for various milk substitution options within the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.
  • Special Diets Request in School Nutrition Programs (24 minutes) - 7/11/18
    This video provides an overview of special diet requirements students requesting menu modifications in School Nutrition Programs.
  •  - 11/9/17
    This document includes multiple resources designed to assist schools in meeting the needs of their students who require accommodations for food allergies.
  • Notification to the Minnesota Department of Education About the Use of Fluid Milk Substitutes - 11/8/17
    Required form used to notify the state agency if offering fluid milk substitutes.
  • Prohibition Against Denying Meals and Milk as a Disciplinary Action (Instruction 791-1) - 2/2/17
    USDA Memo