ATTENTION CO-OP DIRECTORS AND CHILD NUTRITION DIRECTORS
United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is
committed to ensuring that all children have access to healthy meals that meet
their dietary needs. FNS has facilitated
access for children with special dietary needs through the School Meal
Programs. FNS instruction is provided in
“Accommodating Children with Disabilities in the School Meal Programs: Guidance for School Food Service
Professionals,” which was published July 25, 2017.
purpose of this memorandum is to expand the list of acceptable medical
professionals that may sign a medical statement for meal modifications in the
School Meal Programs and recommend alternate foods for children whose
disability restricts their diets.
broader list of medical providers will improve access to meal accommodations
for children with special dietary needs while balancing the administrative
burden placed on program operators and participants requesting meal
and guidance require program operators to provide reasonable accommodations for
children whose disability restricts their diet for all meals and snacks when
supported by a medical statement signed by a licensed physician.
and the Arkansas Department of Education, Child Nutrition Unit have determined
that along with licensed physicians, it is reasonable to also permit other
recognized medical authorities to complete and sign a medical statement for
meal modifications in the School Meal Programs and recommend alternate foods
for children whose disability restricts their diet.
state recognized medical authority for this purpose is a state licensed health
care professional who is authorized to write medical prescriptions under State
Arkansas, those professionals meeting the guidelines are:
- Including those licensed by the Arkansas State
- The Arkansas State Board of Chiropractic
Examiners (Chiropractors); and,
- The Arkansas Board of Podiatric Medicine
- Nurse Practitioners (APRNs in family or pediatric practice with prescriptive authority)
- Physician Assistants (PAs who work in collaborative practice with a physician)
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist may make recommendations for alternate foods
for children whose disability restricts their diet, but the medical statement
must be signed by one of the professionals listed above.
Note: Clinical Psychologists and Doctors of
Naturopathy do not have prescriptive authority in Arkansas.
have questions or concerns, please call the Child Nutrition Unit at (501)