Food Allergies/Special Dietary Needs

Download Special Dietary Needs form in  Word Format.

July 2019

Guidelines for Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs

Dear Parent or Guardian:

The Pittsylvania County Schools’ Nutrition Program wants to help provide a safe, educational environment in which your child may learn. By working together we can create a plan that can help meet your child’s special dietary needs.

If your child has a medical dietary need that requires food to be different, modified, or avoided, please contact the principal’s office at your child’s school to set up an appointment with the school nurse.

In order to make menu modifications for your child, we are required by law to have medical documentation outlining his/her food allergy submitted on a required Special Dietary Needs Form. (See above). Please have the doctor who treats your child for his/her food allergy complete this form in detail and sign it.  Return the signed, completed form to the school nurse.

Once the form is returned to the school nurse, he/she will then submit the form to the Registered Dietitian who will review the information and evaluate the request for the School Nutrition Program to modify menu offerings. You will then be contacted to discuss the options available for accommodating your child’s need.  

We ask that diabetic students or parents of diabetic students please visit the school nurse. The School Nutrition Program provides carbohydrate counts of all items served in the cafeteria. You do not need to fill out a Special Dietary Needs Form. The nurses can work with students to manage their carbohydrate counts and medication.  

Severe life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions
Your child’s school cafeteria is very concerned about preventing severe life-threatening allergenic reactions.  Reasonable efforts are made to instruct our cafeteria staff on the severity of food allergies. By law, food manufacturers are required to identify the major allergens (milk, eggs, fish, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans, wheat and shellfish) on food labels. We review ingredient labels annually for the food items we serve and may initiate additional contact with food manufacturers if we need more information regarding the allergens that their foods may contain.

Although the School Nutrition Program works attentively to assure the safety of the foods it serves, the risk of cross contamination that may occur at manufacturing plants, although small, cannot be ruled out. Some food manufacturers produce the major allergen containing products in the same facilities as non-allergen containing foods. Consequently, we want you to be aware that our ingredient data cannot be 100 percent accurate.

The School Nutrition Program maintains a reference notebook of food ingredient labels of all foods that our cafeterias regularly serve. Individuals may call the School Nutrition Program office (434-432-2761 ext. 5045) to schedule a time to look through the reference notebook to identify the foods that may contain ingredients your child should avoid.

We want you to be well-informed and trust that these precautions taken by the School Nutrition Program provide the necessary assurance you are seeking in managing your child’s diet at school or with the consumption of meals not provided from home.

Please contact the School Nutrition Program office for additional assistance.