Hampshire County Council Catering Service

Special diets

Providing custom menus for children with special dietary requirements

Primary students trying new food

HC3S can provide special diets for pupils with allergies who want to have a school meal. Special diets are provided for pupils with a medical problem, not just a dislike of certain food. Medical evidence confirming the child’s allergy is required.

The standard primary school menu is nut free, with all products used being confirmed as having been manufactured in a nut free environment.

To prevent cross contamination, school kitchens are unable to accept any product/s not from our nominated suppliers (including any items brought in by parents/carers).

Any child with a nut allergy can therefore eat our standard menu without having to register for a special diet.

All our menus are reviewed by dietitians and follow the School Food Plan.

What other diets are catered for?

Other diets include:

We work with a dietitian to produce these specific diets. The products and areas of production are included in the analysis by the dietitian to make sure food is suitable for children with these specific allergies. The products used in these diets are never substituted.

What information is needed to provide a special diet?

It is the responsibility of the parents/carers to inform the school that their child has an allergy and provide medical evidence, for example a letter from their GP or a consultant paediatrician, together with any information received from the state registered dietitian.

What happens to this medical evidence?

Once the school is in receipt of the medical evidence, the medically identified special diets request form (HC300) should be completed and the parent will be asked to sign this form.

As soon as you have your child’s school place confirmed, please register for a special diet using the HC300 form. This way, we can ensure you have peace of mind ready for when your child starts school.

The HC300 and medical evidence should be passed to your school's head of kitchen for signature. They will then forward it to the food development team.

When can your child receive their special diet?

Our food development team will put together a special diet for the child. This will will either be a generic menu or named menu. Once the approval to feed menu has been received by the head of kitchen, the child can receive their special diet.

A copy of the menu is sent to the head of kitchen and, if requested, the school.

Identifying your child

We need to clearly identify your child when they are queuing to ensure we hand them the correct meal. 

If your child has a special diet we will provide them with an orange silicone wrist band to wear. In addition, the school will select one or both of the following:

  • If your child has a special diet, a member of school staff will take them to the service counter.
  • If your child is having a special diet, we will serve them first at the start of each sitting or year group..

We hold the special diet identification form on file as a record of special diet identity for every school.


We are very proud to have been recognised by the FreeFrom Eating Out Awards. Here's what they had to say:

"Judges have been impressed with the thought and commitment that HC3S have put into ensuring that all of the children in their care, regardless of their dietary needs, have a full choice of dishes and are safe and nutritiously catered for. Their protocols are excellent and their staff appear to be both well trained and dedicated. To quote from just one of our judges:"

"What I love is that where possible all children receive the same food - and that it is suitable for free from diets. So, for example, all the fish fingers are gluten free, dairy free etc and are served to all children regardless of whether they have an allergy. This not only makes it easier and safer to serve and administer, but means it is all inclusive. I wish this had been the case when my children were at school."

Download special diet request form