About NutriSTEP®

What is NutriSTEP®?

  • Questionnaires for parents of toddlers (18-35 months) and preschoolers (3-5 years) to assess nutritional risk.
  • The NutriSTEP® questionnaires are a fast and simple way to find out if children are healthy eaters.
  • The valid and reliable 17-item NutriSTEP® questionnaires include topics such as:
    • Food and nutrient intake
    • Physical growth and development
    • Physical activity and sedentary behaviour
    • Food security
    • Feeding environment
  • A score for potential nutrition-related problems can be calculated based on answers to questions.
  • The NutriSTEP® questionnaires can be used in a variety of settings such as:
    • Daycares
    • Child and parent programs
    • Parent education programs
    • School readiness programs
    • Primary health care (e.g., physicians' offices and community health centres)
  • The online NutriSTEP® questionnaires provide parents with direct access.

Why is NutriSTEP® important?

  • Approximately 10-17% of the population of young children aged 18 months to 5 years have been identified as high nutritional risk.
  • Poor nutrition in young children can lead to:
    • Growth problems such as failure to thrive and obesity
    • Anemia
    • Poor eating habits that become lifelong
    • Lack of school readiness
    • Learning difficulties at school
  • Using the NutriSTEP® questionnaires supports:
    • Early identification of potential nutrition problems for parents and communities
    • Parent referral to community resources
    • Parental nutrition education
    • Planning and evaluating preschool nutrition interventions
    • A means of monitoring community child nutrition programs
    • Surveillance

NutriSTEP® History

  • NutriSTEP® stands for Nutrition Screening Tool for Toddlers and Preschoolers.
  • The original Preschool NutriSTEP®, released in 2008, was developed in both English and French and then translated into 6 additional languages commonly used in Canada.
  • The Toddler NutriSTEP®, released in 2012, was adapted from the original NutriSTEP® and then translated into French and Spanish.
  • Both questionnaires were developed, refined and tested for validity and reliability with more than 2000 multicultural (including First Nations, East Asian, Persian, South American and Italian) and geographically diverse parents and their young children across Canada.
  • The NutriSTEP® program was led by dietitian researchers from the University of Guelph and the Public Health Sudbury & Districts.
  • Copyright owners and Dietitians of Canada worked collaboratively to adapt NutriSTEP® as a Nutri-eSTEP online feature that can be accessed easily by parents and provides them with immediate feedback. See For Parents.

Find further details on development at: Partners and Acknowledgements.

Access the NutriSTEP® materials

Notes about licenses and copyright

  • If you are an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) vendor or mobile device provider, contact rjanis@uoguelph.ca.
  • If you are an Ontario resident, paper copies of the preschool questionnaire are available at no charge through Service Ontario Publications. Contact your local Public Health Unit for more information.
  • The NutriSTEP® questionnaires are copyright protected and can only be obtained by acquiring a license. There is no fee to acquire a license.
  • The NutriSTEP® questions must not be copied, adapted, modified or translated or published in any form without the permission of the copyright owners.
  • For any other licensing inquiries, contact rjanis@uoguelph.ca.
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