This MB provides clarification to child nutrition program (CNP) sponsors on the process, requirements, options, and resources for accommodating children, with and without disabilities, who have special dietary needs.
Department of Agriculture Policy Memoranda SP 36-2013, CACFP 10-2013, SFSP 12-2013: Guidance Related to the Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act, and SP 32-2015, SFSP 15-2015, CACFP 13-2015: Statements Supporting Accommodations for Children with Disabilities in the Child Nutrition Programs Subject: Guidelines for Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs in Child Nutrition Programs This Management Bulletin (MB) supersedes California Department of Education (CDE) MB CNP-07-2014: Guidelines for Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs in Child Nutrition Programs, issued in June 2014.
This MB contains updated information regarding the definition of a recognized medical professional.
The CDE recommends that sponsors read this MB in its entirety.
This MB applies to agencies and sponsors of School Nutrition Programs (SNP), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
For the purpose of this MB, these entities will be collectively referred to as Agencies. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations under Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR), sections 15.3(b) and 210.10(m), require substitutions or modifications in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program for children whose disabilities restrict their diets.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Education of the Handicapped Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 state that persons with disabilities have the support of these laws that prohibit discrimination and require that children be provided with a free and appropriate public education. In 2015, the USDA permitted states to expand the list of recognized medical authorities to improve access to meal accommodations for children with special dietary needs and alleviate administrative burden for the CNPs.
For more information, please refer to USDA Policy Memorandum SP 32-2015, SFSP 15-2015, CACFP 13-2015: Statements Supporting Accommodations for Children with Disabilities in the CNPs on the USDA Food and Nutrition Service School Meals Policy Web page at The CDE permits the following state licensed healthcare professionals to complete and sign a written medical statement for a disability determination: licensed physicians, physician assistants, or nurse practitioners.California does not recognize other medical authorities as authorized to sign a written medical statement to determine a child’s diet.Physician assistants and nurse practitioners both work under the direction of a licensed physician.This will safeguard program integrity while allowing appropriate flexibility for those families that do not have access to a licensed physician.An individual with a disability is defined as any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities or is regarded as having such an impairment.