SDE: Special Diets in CACFP Child Care Programs

Special Diets in CACFP Child Care Programs

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{Young girl being checked by doctor}

The Connecticut State Department of Education's (CSDE) Accommodating Special Diets in CACFP Child Care Programs provides guidance on meal modifications for children with special dietary needs, based on the federal nondiscrimination laws and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations. This guide applies to CACFP child care centers (including at-risk afterschool care centers and emergency shelters) and family day care homes.

The USDA requires reasonable meal modifications on a case-by-case basis for children whose disability restricts their diet, based on a medical statement signed by a recognized medical authority. The Connecticut State Department of Public Health defines a recognized medical authority as licensed physicians (doctors of medicine or osteopathy), physician assistants, and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), including nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse anesthetists who are licensed as APRNs.

The USDA allows, but does not require, meal modifications for children whose special dietary needs do not constitute a disability, including those related to religious or moral convictions, general health concerns, and personal food preferences, such as a preference that a child eats a gluten-free diet because a parent believes it is better for the child. CACFP facilities may choose to make these accommodations on a case-by-case basis. All meal modifications for children without disabilities must comply with the CACFP meal patterns.

CSDE Guidance Medical Statement
Legislation Operational Memos Resources
For more resources, review the Special Diets section of the CSDE's resource lists on the Resources for Child Nutrition Programs webpage.
Connecticut State Department of Education
Bureau of Health, Nutrition, Family Services and Adult Education
Child Nutrition Programs
450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite 504
Hartford, CT 06103-1841
Phone: 860-807-2050
Fax: 860-807-2127

Nondiscrimination Statements (USDA and CSDE)

Content Last Modified on 10/16/2017 7:11:46 AM