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Porvoon Ateria- ja puhtauspalvelut

Information about special diets

The basic food that is offered in schools and day-care centres run by Porvoo City is lactose and gluten-free (except on days when pasta is offered as the basic food as it contains gluten). The basic food is suitable for most of the students and children in day-care.

The purpose of the school lunch and lunch in day-care centres is to support the growth and development of students and children. It is also important to develop one’s taste and eating habits. Religious and ethical limitations with concerns to food are taken into consideration by replacing the basic food with vegetarian food when needed. A medical certificate is always required with diseases that are treated with a diet.

Clear and unambiguous dietary instructions are to make sure that the special diet is suitable and safe for the person who eats it.

A medical certificate for celiac disease or diabetes are valid on a permanent basis.

Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance is rare with children under school age. It concerns lactase enzyme deficiency and causes malabsorption of lactose. This is not a disease but an inherited character. The malabsorption of lactose becomes evident only after approximately the age of five. It is always important to find the cause of a child’s stomach symptoms in order to avoid unnecessary restrictions. The information about the lactose intolerance is needed in order to be able to provide a lactose free milk drink to the child to drink with food.
Clinical nutritional products and other food supplements prescribed by a doctor
The diners or their parents bring the kitchen any clinical nutritional, or comparable products, and other individual brands prescribed by a doctor. These are reimbursed to the client in accordance with the Health Insurance Act (364/63).

Food allergies

Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or a central food ingredient:
Milk, egg, wheat, fish and nuts are the most common causes of severe allergic reactions. Nutritionally central food is replaced with other food that is suitable for the diner. The diet is based on the doctor’s diagnosis and medical certificate. A medical certificate is needed for all articles of food that cause severe allergic reactions, even if they would not be replaced with other products. If the diet is particularly restricted a personal meal plan is added to the information. The school must be informed about the use of an adrenalin injection (Epinephrine injection) and about the treatment of the diner in case he or she accidentally eats the food that is to be avoided.

Mild symptoms that pass on their own:
If the food causes mild symptoms, it will be taken into account in the dining situation by moving aside the food in question. In this case there is no need for a special diet or a medical certificate. Uncooked vegetables (tomatoes, carrot, apple) and fruits are typically foods that cause symptoms such as itching of the mouth or a raised, itchy red rash (urticarial). This is especially the case amongst those who are allergic to birch pollen or have an atopic eczema. Usually, vegetables that cause mild symptoms are suitable when cooked.
Allergies to additives or spices are very rare and a mildly seasoned food is usually suitable for people with allergies. It is important for a child to learn how to have a balanced diet. The more foods that are avoided, the more difficult it is to put together a nutritionally balanced diet. A small intake of vegetables, fruits and berries lessens the intake of vitamins and essential minerals and can predispose to putting on weight.

Changes in a special diet

When it comes to food allergies the medical certificate is valid only for a year at a time (except foods that cause anaphylaxis) as food allergies often disappear as children grow. The goal is that by the time the child reaches school age the limitations have been appropriately lifted. Food restrictions will be lifted according to instructions by the attending physician.

Notifying the kitchen about special diets

Special diets consist of regular food from the menu, not vegetarian food.
When it comes to religious reasons or when a child is on a vegetarian diet (lacto-ovo-vegetarian) it is sufficient that the parents notify the kitchen about this. A vegan diet can also be prepared as a special diet if the family also follows a well-balanced vegan diet at home.
We kindly ask you to let us know if your child, who requires a special diet, will not be eating at school or at the day-care centre due to an illness or a vacation.

Notification policy concerning special diets for adults

A person who needs a special diet fills out the form and returns it to the service kitchen, with the medical certificate that the diet is based on attached. You do not need to leave the medical certificate in the kitchen. The service kitchen orders the required diet based upon the information on the form.

In day-care centres

The medical certificate is given to the childcare director who will then order the needed special diet from food services. Parents will also give a copy of the medical certificate to the nurse at the child health clinic.

In school

The school nurse will estimate the need of a medical certificate or write a certificate about the diet for the kitchen. The nurse notifies the central kitchen and the service kitchen about the required diet.