Disability & Severe Food Allergen Information

Special Dietary Needs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) require that schools make substitutions for the regular meal for students who are unable to eat the meal because of their disabilities. This need must be certified by a licensed physician. Substitutions are required for students that have:

  • A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities including eating

  • Food allergies that may result in severe, life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions

These conditions meet the definition of “disability” and substitutions prescribed by the licensed physician must be made.

Substitutions for Students without a Disability

Menu substitutions or modifications are only made for medically documented needs.

Food Allergies or Intolerances

All other food allergies, intolerances, and preferences not included in the scope of this definition are not identified as a disability under either Section 605 of the Rehabilitation Act or Part B of IDEA. It is not required that food substitutions for non-life threatening allergies or intolerances be accommodated.

However, the Allen ISD Student Nutrition department is happy to work with families on a case-by-case basis to accommodate these needs. Medical documentation is required before any menu substitutions or modifications will be considered.

Religious or Personal Preferences

Menu substitutions or modifications will not be made for personal requests, including religious or personal preferences. Vegetarian options are offered daily on all Allen ISD menus.  It is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to review nutritional information at MEAL VIEWER and assist their child in selecting safe and appropriate menu options. 

Milk Substitutions and Requests

Allen ISD Student Nutrition provides non-dairy (soy milk) to students who cannot drink fluid milk due to a medical or special dietary need. Additionally, juice is not an approved fluid milk substitute. Milk is not required to be taken as part of Offer-vs-Serve regulations and students may choose juice when offered as a fruit component in the meal.

Disability/Severe Allergy Request Form

Student Nutrition must receive a signed Food Allergy/Disability Substitution Request form or signed statement by a licensed physician before any menu substitutions or modifications will be considered.  Milk substitution requests do not require a licensed medical professional signature.

A new form is not required each year. However, any changes to a student’s health needs must be updated and include a signed statement from a licensed physician or healthcare provider.  All Food Allergy/Disability Request Forms should be submitted to the student’s school nurse.  The school nurse will send a copy to the Student Nutrition dietitian for evaluation.  The dietitian will contact the parent/guardian concerning accommodations.  Once menu substitutions are made, the information will be relayed to the school café manager.  The Student Nutrition Department will attempt to accommodate the substitutions as requested but reserves the right to modify the menu based on product availability.

Allen Student Nutrition observes not serving nut and peanut products at elementary and middle schools. Products sold a la carte may contain ingredients that are not necessarily manufactured in a nut-free environment and may contain allergens, including peanuts.

Please note:

When a food allergen that is not one of the eight major food allergens (milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy) is listed on the ingredient list as 2 percent or less, this food will be allowed.

Allen ISD adheres to evidence-based research and agrees with the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) practice on soy allergies. The FDA exempts highly refined soybean oil from being labeled as an allergen. Studies show most individuals with a soy allergy can safely eat highly refined soy oil and soy lecithin. Thus, Allen ISD allows soy oil and soy lecithin in the soy allergen diets.

Products stocked by Allen ISD change due to supplier changes or substitutions. Manufacturers may also change formulation and ingredient profiles without the knowledge of Allen SD Student Nutrition. Although our online menus reflect what is being served daily, we cannot guarantee accuracy based on these supplier changes, or other special requests made at the school level, such as testing days.

*Additionally, Allen ISD cannot guarantee nor be responsible for the accuracy of the nutritional information contained on its website.