Managing Special Diets

Hi, I’m Natalie, our Pabulum Nutritionist and I want to give you an insight as to how we manage the special diet requests for our young customers.

You may be aware that food allergies and intolerances in children are becoming increasingly more common. As of May 2021, in Pabulum, we have more than 800 pupils on record who require a medically prescribed diet. As you can imagine, helping these pupils to access a safe school meal is of the highest importance to us.

Dietary requests include food allergies, food intolerances and Type 1 Diabetes, amongst others. A significant proportion of these pupils have allergies or intolerances which involve foods outside of the main 14 allergens.

After receiving a dietary request form from our Primary schools, we create a ‘special diet menu’. To do this, we look at the recipes and ingredients of each dish on our main menu to assess their suitability for that pupil.

The special diet menus are then shared with the pupil’s parents, with the school, and with our catering team, all of whom are essential to ensure our customers receive the correct food.

In our secondary schools, we encourage customers to speak to our staff about their dietary requirements and students can also visit our website where the menus contain allergen information. From 1st October 2021, all prepackaged food will be labelled with a full ingredient list, with the allergens emphasised, as per Natasha’s Law.

We also provide nutritional information for any pupils who need it to manage their medication, such as carbohydrate information for pupils who take insulin.

More information about our special diet process, and a link to our special diet request form, can be found here:

If you have any questions, please do get in touch.