The Connecticut State Department of Education's (CSDE) guide, Accommodating Special Diets in CACFP Adult Day Care Centers, provides guidance on meal modifications for CACFP adult particpants with special dietary needs, based on the federal nondiscrimination laws and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations. This guide applies to CACFP adult day care centers.
Participants with a Disability
The USDA requires reasonable meal modifications on a case-by-case basis for adult participants whose disability restricts their diet, based on a medical statement signed by a recognized medical authority. “Case-by-case basis” means that the meal modifications are specific to the individual medical condition and dietary needs of each adult participant. The Connecticut State Department of Public Health defines a recognized medical authority as a state-licensed health care professional who is authorized to write medical prescriptions under state law. This includes licensed physicians (doctors of medicine or osteopathy), physician assistants, and advanced practice registered nurses (APRN).
Participants without a Disability
The USDA allows, but does not require, meal modifications for adult participants whose special dietary needs do not constitute a disability. Examples of optional modifications include requests related to religious or moral convictions, general health concerns, and personal food preferences, such as adult participants who prefers a gluten-free diet or organic foods because they believe it is healthier. CACFP adult day care centers may choose to make these accommodations on a case-by-case basis. Meal modifications for adult participants without disabilities must comply with the CACFP adult meal patterns
Guidance and Resources
- Allowable Milk Substitutes for Adult Participants without Disabilities in the CACFP
- CSDE Guide: Accommodating Special Diets in CACFP Adult Day Care Centers
- CSDE Operational Memorandum No. 2A-18: Requirements for Meal Modifications in CACFP Adult Day Care Centers
- CSDE Presentation: Requirements for Meal Modifications in CACFP Adult Day Care Centers
- Medical conditions (celiac disease and intolerance, diabetes, food allergies, inborn errors of metabolism, and lactose intolerance): Go to Documents/Forms in the left navigation bar.
- Medical Statements (Documents/Forms section)
- Milk Substitutes (Documents/Forms section)
- Resource List for Special Diets in Child Nutrition Programs
- Self-assessment of Adult Day Care Center Practices for Special Diets in the CACFP
- Summary of Requirements for Accommodating Special Diets for Adult Participants in the CACFP
- Training for Special Diets (see CSDE's Resource List for Special Diets in Child Nutrition Programs)
Developing Policy and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Meal Modifications
The CSDE recommends that CACFP facilities develop a written policy and SOPs for meal modifications in the CACFP. For information on developing policies, go to What's Next in the left navigation bar.
Nondiscrimination Statements (USDA and CSDE)