Special Dietary Needs

  • Norfolk Public Schools - School Nutrition Department provides modifications for children with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. In order to provide a special meal and/or accommodations a written statement from a licensed healthcare professional must be provided. In Virginia, a licensed healthcare professional includes a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner. As seen on the form, the medical statement must include:

    • Information about the child’s physical or mental impairment that is sufficient to allow School Nutrition to understand how it restricts the child’s diet;
    • An explanation of what must be done to accommodate the child; and
    • The food or foods to be omitted and the recommended alternatives, if appropriate.

    In some cases, more information may be required. For example, if the child requires caloric modifications or the substitution of a liquid nutritive formula to accommodate a disability, this information must be included in the statement. If a statement is unclear or lacks sufficient detail, School Nutrition will work with the parent and/or guardian as well as the licensed healthcare provider to clarify statements to ensure a safe meal is provided.

    Please return completed forms to the child’s school nutrition manager or school nurse. Medical statements completed by parents or guardians will not be accepted.

    School Nutrition does not require an updated medical statement on a regular basis to confirm student’s special dietary needs. However, if there is any change in a child’s dietary needs the medical statement must be signed by a licensed healthcare professional authorizing this change. School Nutrition accepts notes signed by the parent and/or guardian to rescind special diets. 

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Alyssa Hughes, the Nutrition Education Specialist, or call the School Nutrition Office at (757) 628-2760.