What is NutriSTEP®?

  • The NutriSTEP® program was designed to help parents and health care professionals differentiate between young children who are at nutrition risk and those who are not.
  • There is a questionnaire for toddlers (18-35 months) and one for preschoolers (3-5 years).
  • The valid and reliable 17-item parent-administered questionnaires include topics such as children's food and nutrient intake, physical growth, developmental and physical capabilities, physical activity, food security and the feeding environment.
  • Each question has a built-in risk scoring component. When all the questions are completed, the risk for potential nutrition-related problems can be calculated.
  • The NutriSTEP® questionnaires can be used in a variety of settings, such as child and parent programs, parent education programs, school readiness programs, and primary health care settings such as physicians' offices and community health centres, and as well as for population surveillance.
  • The NutriSTEP® program is used by public health in British, Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Prince Edward Island.

The NutriSTEP® questionnaires are copyright protected for professional use and can only be obtained by acquiring a license.

  • If you work in a public health, community health or primary care setting, click here
  • If you are an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) vendor or mobile device provider, contact rjanis@nutristep.ca
  • For any other licensing inquiries, contact rjanis@nutristep.ca

If you are an Ontario resident, paper copies of the preschool questionnaire are available through Service Ontario Publications. Contact your local Public Health Unit for more information.

If you are a parent interested in completing the NutriSTEP® questionnaire online, click here

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Why is NutriSTEP® important?

  • Approximately 10 - 17% of the population of young children aged 18 months to 5 years will be identified as high nutritional risk.
  • Poor nutrition in young children can lead to:
    1. Growth problems such as failure to thrive and obesity
    2. Anemia
    3. Poor eating habits that become lifelong
    4. Lack of school readiness
    5. Inability to learn at school
  • The NutriSTEP® questionnaires provide:
    1. Early identification of potential nutrition problems
    2. Parent referral to community resources
    3. Parental nutrition education
    4. Support in evaluating preschool nutrition interventions
    5. A means of monitoring community child nutrition programs
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What does the NutriSTEP® program include?

NutriSTEP® Product How to Obtain
Toddler NutriSTEP® See Acquire a License
Preschool NutriSTEP® See Acquire a License
How to Build a Healthy Toddler (2015) Click on: English, French
How to Build a Healthy Preschooler (2015) Click on: English, French
How to Build a Healthy Preschooler (2009) Click on: Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Punjabi, Vietnamese
NutriSTEP® Implementation Toolkit and resources Click on: Toolkit
Preschool Nutrition Primers for RDs Click on: Primers
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In which languages are the NutriSTEP® questionnaires and resources available?


NutriSTEP® Product Languages
Toddler NutriSTEP® Licenses available in: English, French, Spanish
Preschool NutriSTEP® Licenses available in: English, French, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Punjabi, Spanish, Tamil, Vietnamese
How to Build a Healthy Toddler (2015) English, French
How to Build a Healthy Preschooler (2015) English, French
How to Build a Healthy Preschooler (2009) Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Punjabi, Vietnamese
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NutriSTEP® Background and History

  • NutriSTEP® stands for Nutrition Screening Tool for Every Preschooler. The original NutriSTEP®, released in 2008, is a valid and reliable nutrition risk screening questionnaire for preschoolers that was developed in both English and French and then translated into 6 additional languages commonly used in Canada. The original NutriSTEP® questionnaire was developed, refined and validated in both English and French with multicultural and geographically diverse groups of parents and preschoolers across Ontario and Canada. The development and finalization of the original NutriSTEP® for preschoolers took over 10 years and involved almost 1500 preschoolers and their parents, and more than 50 multisectoral partners. Focus groups, child health screening fairs, research interviews, and child nutrition assessments were conducted in English and French with numerous cultural groups including First Nations, East Asian, Persian, South American, and Italian.
  • The Toddler NutriSTEP® was adapted from the original NutriSTEP® for preschoolers. The Toddler NutriSTEP® was tested for reliability and validity by the same process used for the original NutriSTEP® with more than 500 toddlers and their parents. Toddler NutriSTEP® was developed in English and then translated into French and released in 2012. A Spanish version was released in 2013.
  • The NutriSTEP® program has been led by dietitian researchers from the University of Guelph and the Sudbury & District Health Unit.
  • The original NutriSTEP® development was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), The Ontario Public Health Research, Education and Development (PHRED) Program, City of Greater Sudbury, Ontario Early Years Challenge Fund, Health Canada (Population Health Fund), The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion.
  • The Toddler NutriSTEP® development was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Implementation research was funded by the Danone Institute of Canada.
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* Disclaimer: The views expressed in the materials associated with NutriSTEP® do not necessarily represent the official policies of the above funders.