Table 5: Studies examining diet quality indices among infants and toddlers (birth-24 months) and preschoolers (2–5 years), details of the content of the indices and their applicability to short dietary assessment tools identified in Table 1.

Index name; reference details; age of sampleIndex propertiesApplicability to short tools identified in Table 1Can be applied to dietary data assessed by short tools reviewed (Table 1)
Number of components: component labelsAssessesRequires
Five “core” food groups“Noncore” foodsAssessment of food-group subcategoriesDetailed nutrient analysisPortion size quantificationa

Infants and toddlers (birth-24 months)
Mean Adequacy Ratio (MAR); Hoerr et al. 2006 [32]; 11–25 mNutrients included in ratio score vary according to research interests. 8 key nutrients used in [32]N

Dietary Diversity Score, international; Dewey et al. 2006 [33]; 1-2 y8 or 9 food groups: cereals, roots and tubers, vitamin A-rich fruit and vegetables, other fruit and vegetables, legumes and nuts, meat and alternatives, fats and oils, dairy, and eggs, (fruits and vegetables separate for 9-food group DDS)N

Healthy Eating Index-Canada (HEI-C); Glanville and McIntyre 2006 [34]; 1–3 y9: grains, fruit and vegetables, milk, meat, other foods (high in fat, sodium, and sat fat), total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and varietyN

Food Variety Score (FVS), South Africa; Steyn et al. 2006 [35]; 1–3 y1: dietary diversity. One point for every food item consumed over 24-hour period from 45-item listb.N

Diet Quality Score 2 (DQS2), USA; Caliendo et al. 1977 [36]; 1–4 y6: vegetables, fruit, breads and cereals, meat and milk, citrus fruit, dark green, and yellow vegetablesN

Child Feeding Index; Ruel et al. 2002 [37]; 1–3 y7: breastfeeding, does not use bottlec, dietary diversity, food frequency, (egg/fish/poultry), food frequency (meat), food, frequency (grains/tubers), and meal frequencyN

Nutrient Adequacy Score; Krebs-Smith and Clark 1989 [38]; 1–3 y12: milk and milk products, whole grains, enriched grains, total grains, citrus fruit, other fruit and vegetables, total fruit, green and yellow vegetables, starchy vegetables, other vegetables, total vegetables, and meat and alternativesN

Preschoolers (2–5 years)
Crombie et al. 2009 [39]; 2 yvegetables; dairy products; meat, fish or alternatives; high-fat or high-sugar snacksY [20, 21, 2628, 30]

Nutrient Quality Index (NQI), Germany; Libuda et al. 2009 [40]; 2–4 y17: nutrients: vitamins A, E, K, B6, B12, and C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate; minerals calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zincN

Healthy Eating Index (HEI), USA; Manios et al. 2009 [41]; 2–5 y10: Grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat, total fat (% calories), saturated fat (% calories), total, cholesterol, sodium, and varietyN

Servings/day, USA; Kranz et al. 2009 [42]; 2–5 y5: fruit, vegetables, grains, milk/dairy, meat/alternativesY [20, 21, 2628, 30]

HEI-2005, USA; Fungwe et al. 2009 [43]12: whole fruit (not juice), total vegetables, dark green and orange vegetables and legumes, total and alternatives and beans, food oils, saturated fat, sodium, extra calories from solid fats (including fat in milk), and added sugarsN

Healthy Nutrition score (HuSKY); Kleiser et al. 2009 [26]; 3–6 y11: beverages, vegetables, fruit, fish, breads and dairy products, eggs, meat and sausage, fats and oils (butter/margarine), sweets and fatty snacks, and soft drinksY [26]

Revised Children’s Diet
USA; Kranz et al. 2008 [44] Kranz et al. 2006 [45]; 2–5 y
13: added sugar, total fat, fat quality—linoleic, fat docosahexaenoic, total grains, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, 100% fruit juice, dairy, iron intake, and energy balanceN

Dietary Diversity Score; Sullivan et al. 2006 [31]; <5yDietary diversity.
7: grains-roots-tubers, legumes and nuts, dairy, meat-poultry-fish-eggs, vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables, other fruits and vegetables, and foods cooked with fat or oil
Y [31]

Diet Quality Index for Children; Kranz et al. 2004 [46]; 2–5 y Variety Index for toddlers8: % total energy as added sugars, total fat, saturated fat, number of servings of grains, fruit and vegetables, dairy, excessive juice, and iron (mg/d)
5: bread group, vegetable group, fruit group, and dairy

(VIT); Cox et al. 1997 [47]; 2-3 yGroup, meat groupY [20, 21, 2628, 30]

Diet Quality Score 1 (DQS1), Canada; Campbell and Sanjur 1992 [48]; 2–4 y6: milk, meat and alternatives, fruit and vegetables, breads and cereals, additional vegetables, and vitamin A-rich vegetablesN

Diversity Score (DS), USA; Caliendo et al. 1977 [36]; 2–4 y1: dietary diversity using items consumed by 20% or more of the study samples. One point for every food item consumed from a list of 20 food itemsbN

Table adapted from Smithers et al. 2011 [9].
Freq: frequency; FFQ: food frequency questionnaire; N: no; Y: yes.
Core foods: foods recommended to be consumed daily for example: fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat and alternatives, and cereals [6, 15].
Noncore foods: foods recommended to be consumed in minimal amounts for example: high fat, salt, and/or sugar foods [6, 15].
aIf portion size-quantification required, index is only useful for data collected using semiquantitative or quantitative methods.
bUnlikely any short tool assess the same x-items.
cNo tool assess bottle use.