A to Z: Common Questions & Topics

Wondering about a specific topic or diet? Use our handy alphabetized list below to find your answer.

 TopicAdditional Information
AAlmond MilkAlmond milk is a non-dairy milk substitute used by some people who are not able to tolerate cow's milk. Because almond milk contains significantly less nutrients, especially protein and calcium, our lunch program rules require that this substitute be approved and requested by your health care provider on the Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs form. (See also Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs).
BBrand Name Product Requests for Special DietsIn most cases a brand name is a personal preference. Nutrition Services conducts bidding each year which evaluates multiple criteria such as product quality, product ingredients, cost per serving, student preference and nutrient content. Unless a brand name product is medically necessary, such as for a dialysis patient needing a low potassium product, Nutrition Services may provide a generic or alternate brand product.
CCarbohydrate CountsCarbohydrate counts of all menu items can be viewed on our MealViewer menu site, and added to printed menus if desired. Click on the printer icon (upper right), and use the drop down box next to "Nutritional" to select "Total Carbs(gm)".
Changes to Special DietsIf your health care provider makes changes to an existing special diet, we must have a new Medical Statement on file outlining the revised special diet instructions before we will accommodate those changes. For safety reasons, we will not make changes without the required documentation.
DDiabetic dietsMany of our diabetic students work closely with the school nurse, the health tech and the food service manager to ensure that their school meal contains the right amount of carbohydrates and calories. The MealViewer menu site is an excellent tool to pre-plan meals, and provides the carbohydrate information needed for insulin dosing.
Discontinuing a DietIf your student no longer needs the special diet or meal modification, please notify us in writing. As the parent or guardian you may send a note or email to the health office, the food service manager or LPS dietitian. It is not necessary to get a note from your health care provider.
FFamily Style DiningAll LPS preschool classrooms (Early Childhood classrooms) utilize family style dining. In family style dining, all food is placed in serving bowls and passed around the table. Children are encouraged to serve themselves or serve themselves with help from the teacher. Children and child care staff practice good manners in a pleasant mealtime setting.
Fish/ShellfishFish may occassionally be an option available to secondary schools. Signs on the cafeteria line identify if a particular product contains fish. Use the MealViewer allergen features to preview menu choices and get the most up to date information.
Food AllergyFood allergy symptoms can vary widely from one person to the next, and some types of food allergies are life threatening. If your student has a food allergy please have your health care provider complete the Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs . If your student will be bringing lunch from home every day, a medical statement form is not needed, however it is still very important to share food allergy information with the health office staff at your school.
Food IntoleranceFood intolerance symptoms can vary widely from one person to the next. Symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, nausea or diarrhea would substantially impact a student's school day and ability to learn. If your student has a food intolerance, and will be eating school meals please have your health care provider complete the Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs . If your student will be bringing lunch from home every day, a medical statement form is not needed, however it is still very important to share food intolerance information with the health office staff at your school.
GGluten-FreeIf a student is diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, Nutrition Services can provide a Gluten-Free diet. Before any food substitutions or menu adaptations are made, we must have a Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs form on file, that has been completed by your health care provider. The Medical Statement ensures that LPS has accurate and complete information about the dietary changes needed. We do not accommodate requests for gluten free diets that are for personal preference only.
LLactose-Free MilkLactose-Free milk is cow's milk that has been treated with an enzyme to break down the lactose or sugar present in milk. It is often used by some people who are not able to tolerate regular cow's milk. Lactose-Free milk contains the same nutrients as cow's milk. As a courtesy, Nutrition Services will provide Lactose-Free milk as a substitute for those students who cannot tolerate regular cow's milk due to gastrointestinal problems. A parent may request Lactose-Free milk for their student by filling out and returning a Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs . (See also Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs).
MMealViewerMenus for all grade levels and all meals/snacks served at LPS can be viewed using MealViewer, including pictures of items. You can create a custom account, which saves the school your student attends, or you can bypass this option and view any school menu of your choice. MealViewer has additional features such as the ability to add nutrient information (such as grams of carbohydrate) to menus. Some parents and students with allergies, self-manage their special diet by using the "Allergen" tools to decide specific days to eat school lunch and what days to bring lunch from home. Use the "MENUS" link at the top of this page to access MealViewer.
MeatlessAs a courtesy for our diverse student population, the Nutrition Services daily menu includes at least two meatless choices every day. More choices may be available at the secondary level. The daily choices are marked clearly with signs on the cafeteria lines. The ingredients of our meatless choices will vary. Some contain milk, cheese and/or eggs, while other choices may be purely plant based. Utilize our MealViewer menu program to view the daily meatless choices and pre-plan your menu selections.
Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional NeedsThe Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs is an LPS form that is filled out by your health care professional when your student has a medical condition or food allergy that requires adaptations be made to their school meal. This same form is used to document the following 4 types of requests which can be made by parents: (1) vegetarian meals (2) pork-free meals (3) lactose-free milk or (4) soy milk. All other types of requests and special diets must be completed by the health care professional and related to a medical condition or food allergy. The Medical Statement can be found on the Special Diets and Nutrition page, from the link on the top of the page.
Milk SubstitutesNutrition Services can make milk substitutes available for students with medical needs. Lactose-Free milk and Soy milk contain the same nutrients as cow's milk and are available for students who cannot tolerate regular cow's milk due to gastrointestinal problems. A parent may request lactose-free or soy milk for their student. Substitutes such as almond milk or rice milk contain far less nutrients and protein than cow's milk and must be prescribed by a health care provider . See Lactose-Free Millk, Soy Milk, Almond Milk or Rice Milk for additional information.
NNut Aware Versus Nut-FreeLPS recognizes the importance of preventing food allergy exposures. There are no items on the LPS menu that contain nuts, however the district does not have control over all food products that may come into each building in student lunches from home. If your student attends secondary school, please note that a few alacarte (snack) items, although nut-free, may come from factories that make products with nuts. Please feel free to call our office if you have any questions.
OOffer versus ServeEveryone, regardless of age likes to be given choices when it comes to eating. LPS allows students to pick and choose from a variety of healthy options at breakfast and lunch. Rather than automatically serving students a specific meal, students are allowed to select foods they intend to eat and decline items that they do not want, which reduces food waste. At breakfast, LPS offers multiple choices of the three required food components (fruit, milk, grains) and at lunch there are multiple choices from each of the five required food components (fruit, vegetable, grain, meat/meat alternate, milk). When a student selects at least three items, including a fruit and/or vegetable choice, this qualifies for the meal price. Fewer choices are charged alacarte or by the item. Visit our MealViewer menu site to see all the menu options.
OrganicWe are not able to accommodate requests for organic foods.
PPeanut-FreePeanut butter is not served in any of the LPS schools, and no items on the menu contain peanuts. See Nut Aware Versus Nut-Free
Picky EatersEveryone, regardless of age likes to be given choices. Children who are offered food choices are more likely to eat the foods they enjoy rather than throw the food away. The LPS menu for K-12 offers a variety of foods every day including at least four entrees, two vegetables, two fruits and three choices of milk. Students are allowed to self select, and lunch offers a pleasant, no-pressure atmosphere to visit with friends, be exposed to a variety of foods, and enjoy the meal. Children are never forced to try one bite or clean their trays. The same feeding philosophy applies to preschool classrooms, where the children get to enjoy meals family style.
PorkAny food items containing pork, pork enzymes or those possibly made with pork enzymes will be clearly labeled on the serving line. Use the MealViewer allergen feature to preview menu choices and get the most up to date information on which items may contain pork.
Preschool MealsMeals and snacks in the preschool classrooms (Early Childhood classrooms) are used as learning opportunities, but are also relaxed and fun. Breakfast and lunch are served "family style". This environment encourages socialization and conversation as well as the development of fine motor skills when children learn to serve themselves and pass dishes to their classmates.
Preschool Special DietsIf your preschool student needs a special diet, have your health care professional complete the Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs form and return it to your school's health office or your classroom teacher. Ask your teacher to notify our department immediately of the need for a special diet. Outside food is not allowed in preschool classrooms. Please allow up to 5 school days from receipt of the Medical Statement for our department to plan the appropriate menu adaptations and obtain the special foods needed to make safe meals for your child. Feel free to contact out dietitian directly with any questions to discuss your child’s dietary needs.
PureeA variety of conditions affect the ability to chew and swallow. If your child needs a modification to the consistency of their diet to ensure their safety or to help them ingest adequate calories, please have your health care provider complete the Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs. This will provide Nutrition Services the specific instructions needed for safe preparation and liquids.
RRice MilkRice milk is a non-dairy milk substitute used by some people who are not able to tolerate cow's milk. Because rice milk contains significantly less nutrients, especially protein and calcium, our lunch program rules require that this substitute be approved and ordered by your health care provider on the Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs form. (See also Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs).
SSnacksIf your school-aged child attends one of the After School Programs at an LPS school, they may receive a snack as a part of that service. Some of these sites are run by LPS community partners such as Family Service or the YMCA. If your student needs a special diet in the After School Program, please speak directly with that program's teacher about how to request a special snack. Children enrolled in the LPS Early Childhood all day preschool or afternoon preschool will recieve a snack during their school day. If your school aged student needs a snack during the school day, it is the parent's responsibility to supply the food or beverage needed. Parents should work with the health office staff to outline details related to storage and administration of supplemental feedings.
Soy MilkSoy milk is a non-dairy beverage. It is often used by people who are not able to tolerate regular cow's milk. Soy milk has been fortified with nutrients so that it contains equivalent amounts of protein, calcium and other nutrients that are normally present in cow's milk. As a courtesy, Nutrition Services will provide soy milk as a substitute for those students who cannot tolerate cow's milk due to gastrointestinal problems. A parent may request soy milk for their student by filling out and returning a Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs . (See also Medical Statement for Students with Special Nutritional Needs).
Special Diet MenusMenus for a variety of special diets can be viewed using the link on the left side of this page. Each month these menus are prepared by the Nutrition Services Special Diets Dietitian. When a student has very specialized needs, a team of LPS staff will work together with the student and family to provide the prescribed diet needed. Feel free to contact our special diet dietitian directly with your questions or to discuss your child's dietary needs.
Swallowing DifficultiesStudents with swallowing difficulties may need changes to the consistency of foods and/or liquids in order to safely eat and drink. If your student will eat school meals and needs modifications, please have your health care provider complete the Medical Statement for Students with Special Needs to outline special instructions for foods and/or liquids.
VVeganPeople who choose to eat only foods that are only from plants eat a vegan diet. This type of vegetarian diet eliminates any food product that comes from an animal including milk and eggs. As a courtesy for our diverse student population, the Nutrition Services daily menu includes at least two meatless choices every day. More choices may be available at the secondary level. The daily choices are marked clearly with signs on the cafeteria lines. The ingredients of our meatless choices will vary. Some contain milk, cheese and/or eggs, while other choices may be purely plant based. Students who choose to follow a strict vegan diet can utilize our MealViewer menu program to view the daily meatless choices, preplan their selections, or identify days they may choose to bring a meal from home.
VegetarianThere are many types of vegetarians, and people choose vegetarian diets for many reasons. Some eat dairy foods, such as cheese or eggs, while others avoid any food product that comes from an animal. As a courtesy for our diverse student population, the Nutrition Services daily menu includes at least two meatless choices every day. More choices may be available at the secondary level. The daily choices are marked clearly with signs on the cafeteria lines. The ingredients of our meatless choices will vary. Some contain milk, cheese and or eggs, while other choices may be purely plant based. Utilize our MealViewer menu program to view the daily meatless choices.