National Pre-school Nutrition Survey

The National Pre-school Nutrition Survey is an important national survey that is being carried out in Ireland by researchers from University College Cork, University College Dublin and the University of Ulster.

The aim of this survey is to examine the diet of pre-school children in Ireland.  Such a study has never been carried out before in Ireland.  Survey work will begin in October 2010.  Detailed information will be collected on the foods eaten by the children over a four-day period.  Some information on body measurements and lifestyle will also be collected.   All information collected will remain confidential.  It will be used to develop nutrition policies and health promotion campaigns for pre-school children into the future.

Can my child take part?

We would love your child to take part, if:

  • You have received a letter of invitation and
  • He/she is between 1 and 4 years of age and
  • He/she is not yet attending primary school

What does my child have to do?

We would like you, the parent/guardian, to write down everything your child eats or drinks over four days in a food diary which we will provide. A researcher from the survey team will call to your house (at a time that is suitable for you) and show you how to fill in the food diary. The same researcher will call back over the four-day period to help you with filling it out, and to take some simple body measurements (weight and height) from your child, with your permission.

Will my information be kept confidential?

Yes. Each researcher has signed a confidentiality contract and any information collected will be kept completely confidential. Your name or your child’s name or address will not appear on any information collected; a number will be used instead. Some general findings from the survey will be published at a later date, but these will describe the pre-school population as a whole, and will not refer to individual children.

Why is it important that my child takes part?

Your child’s involvement in the National Pre-school Nutrition Survey is invaluable. By taking part in this survey you will be helping children all over Ireland to have a healthier future. Taking part will also give you a chance to learn more about your child’s eating habits.

Dr Janette Walton (School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork)

Tel: (021) 4903387



Dr Breige McNulty (Institute of Food and Health, University College Dublin)

Tel: (01) 716 7319


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