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Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions


To accommodate and ensure the safety of participants who have food allergies and other dietary restrictions or special needs.


  1. Through an interview with the parent/guardian, staff will document all diagnosed and suspected food allergies and/or dietary restrictions/needs on the Child Enrollment and Health Information form.
  2. If the dietary restriction is due to a diagnosed allergy, disability or medical condition, specific documentation and information regarding the allergy/condition must be obtained from the child’s physician/health care provider. A completed Medical Care Plan will be used for documentation. If additional instructions are required, the child’s physician/health care provider will complete an individual health plan.
  3. It is mandatory to have a doctor’s statement in place to be able to accommodate each child’s dietary needs.
  4. NOCAC Head Start will work with teachers and parents to ensure that dietary restrictions that are personal (religious/cultural) will be accommodated, if possible. A statement from the child’s parent/guardian describing the restriction is required.
    1. Early Head Start will follow same process and incorporate parent preference for Child and Adult Care Food Program, Infant Meals for children 0-11 months.
  5. NOCAC Head Start Staff will consult with the Nutrition Manager regarding concerns and to ensure that needed follow-up occurs.
  6. A list of children with food allergies/dietary restrictions will be kept confidential on the center refrigerator using the “Attention” cover sheet.
    1. Substitutions are logged and submitted to the Nutrition Manager with monthly CACFP paperwork.
  7.  Physician reports, nutrition assessment information, individual plans and follow-up will be maintained in the child’s individual health record.
  8. The Nutrition Manager monitors allergy/dietary restriction plans and records in ChildPlus.
  9. For Children with diets that require significant amounts of monitoring and extra preparation from the kitchen, special menus will be developed in consultation with NOCAC’s contracted Registered Dietician.
  10. All NOCAC staff, including temporary and substitutes, that are responsible for the group care of children, must be informed about each child’s dietary restrictions by the teachers and other direct service staff.

    Forms and Additional Guidance:



    This policy complies with the following

    Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.44(a)(1) 
    ODJFS Child Care Manual:   5101:2-12-22(A)(6)
    CACFP Regulation:    
    Caring for Our Children:
    Other Sources:    
    Effective Date:   8/7/17 Reviewed Date:   9/30/20, 6/11/21, 6/6/22
    Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    
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