Accurate assessment of dietary intake among preschool-aged children is important for clinical care and research, for nutrition monitoring and evaluating nutrition interventions, and for epidemiologic research. We identified 25 studies published between January 1976 and August 2000 that evaluated the validity of food recalls ( = 12), food frequency questionnaires ( = 9), food records ( = 2), or other methods ( = 2). We identified four studies that evaluated the reproducibility of food frequency questionnaires. Validity studies varied in validation standard and study design, making comparisons between studies difficult. In general, food frequency questionnaires overestimated total energy intake and were better at ranking, than quantifying, nutrient intake. Compared with the validation standard, food recalls both overestimated and underestimated energy intake. When choosing a method to estimate diet, both purpose of the assessment and practicality of the method must be considered, in addition to the validity and reproducibility reported in the scientific literature.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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