If you’re a parent, or a caregiver to children, chances are you have occasional nagging questions about whether your young charges are getting the proper nutrition they need. A new online tool can help you get a sense of where your child stands on nutrition and health, in just a few short minutes.
Recently launched by Dieticians of Canada, the Nutri-eSTEP program is at its core not more complicated than an online questionnaire. Parents and caregivers are asked to answer 17 questions about their child’s eating habits, food choices, physical activity and growth patterns. After answering the questions, parents are provided with a summary of what is going well and what needs work. They are then directed to a series of resources that can help them make improvements in the “needs work” category, including community services, recipes and online videos.
The questionnaire has been circulating in the health community for a while, but was previously only available on demand at certain clinics, daycares and other public health centres. Now, parents anywhere can participate. The survey takes 10 minutes or less to complete.
Interested parents can visit www.nutritionscreen.ca, where they can choose a questionnaire for either toddlers or pre-schoolers. (There’s also a questionnaire for adults over 50—the rest of us are on our own for the time being.)