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Q&As - Milk Substitution for Children with Medical or Special Dietary Needs (Non-Disability)

EO Guidance Document #
FNS Document #
SP07 CACFP04 SFSP05-2010
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Policy Memo (188.38 KB)
DATE: November 12, 2009
POLICY MEMO: SP 07-2010, CACFP 04-2010, SFSP 05-2010
SUBJECT: Q&As: Milk Substitution for Children with Medical or Special Dietary Needs (Non-Disability)
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions
State Directors
All States

This memorandum replaces SP 35-2009: Q&As Milk Substitution for Children with Medical or Special Dietary Needs, dated Aug. 13, 2009. We have attached the complete set of questions and answers and highlighted the three additions.

Schools have the option to offer a nondairy milk substitute to a student with a medical or special dietary need other than a disability. The final rule Fluid Milk Substitutions in the School Nutrition Programs (73 FR 52903, Sept. 12, 2008) addresses the substitution of fluid milk for children whose non-disabling allergies, culture, religion, or ethical beliefs preclude the consumption of cow’s milk. The final rule sets nutrition standards for the nondairy milk substitutes that may be offered as part of the reimbursable meal. The attached Questions and Answers clarify various issues concerning the substitution of fluid milk in non-disability cases.

Note that this final rule does not apply in cases of disability. For a student with a recognized disability who cannot consume cow’s milk, the school must omit or substitute fluid milk based on the written statement from a licensed physician.

Please distribute this information to your school food authorities as soon as possible. State agencies should contact their regional office if they have any questions.

Cynthia Long
Child Nutrition Division


Page updated: February 11, 2022

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.