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Child and Diet Evaluation Tool (CADET)
This instrument is not currently available on the NINDS CDE website but may be obtained from the Medical Research Council. Acknowledgments must be given to Professor Janet Cade and Dr Joan Ransley, Nutritional Epidemiology Group, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Leeds, if this tool is used or modified.
Please visit this website for more information about the instrument:

Exploratory: Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Pediatric - for children aged 3-7 years
Short Description of Instrument
The Child and Diet Evaluation Tool (CADET) is a 24-hour food tick list for use by non-specialists to assess diet in children 3-7 years old (Cade, et al., 2006; Cade & Ransley, 2005; National Obesity Observatory, 2011).
The CADET measures dietary intake of 115 food items over a 24-hour period with a focus on fruit and vegetables. There are additional questions that assess dietary behaviors, attitudes, and socio-economic characteristics. Food item quantity and weight are not specifically recorded, and portion sizes are based on mean portion sizes in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey and are age and gender specific (Roberts & Flaherty, 2010).
Validity/reliability: Validity of the CADET was assessed against a 24-hour semi-weighed food diary obtained the same day as the tick list (Frear, et al., 2003). Nutrient intake values were like those obtained for the same age group in the 1997 National Diet and Nutrition Survey.
Comments/Special Instructions
Scoring: Specific software available from the authors is required to analyze and calculate the average nutrient intake.
Age range: 3 - 7 years
There are two versions of the instrument: one for the parent to reflect the home diet and one for school/childcare to reflect the diet outside of home.
Strengths: The questionnaire itself is free to use, although training is needed to administer and to interpret the results of the CADET. The CADET is appropriate for use with children from diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds and is applicable for use in a range of settings (Roberts & Flaherty, 2010).
Weaknesses: Further testing is needed for use among different age groups (Cade et al., 2006; Christian, et al., 2015; Roberts & Flaherty, 2010). The CADET is not considered to be suitable to monitor diet-related targets in a population.
Cade JE, Frear L, Greenwood DC. Assessment of diet in young children with an emphasis on fruit and vegetable intake: using CADET - Child and Diet Evaluation Tool. Public Health Nutr. 2006;9(4):501-508.
Cade JE & Ransley JK. (2005). CADET: Child and Diet Evaluation Tool (Form NFV-3414). Retrieved 7 May, 2015, from
Christian MS, Evans CE, Nykjaer C, Hancock N, Cade JE. Measuring diet in primary school children aged 8-11 years: validation of the Child and Diet Evaluation Tool (CADET) with an emphasis on fruit and vegetable intake. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015;69(2):234-241.
Frear L, Greenwood DC, Cade JE. (2003). The development of a dietary assessment tool for school children aged 3 to 7 years. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, King's College, London, UK on 7-10 July 2003.
National Obesity Observatory. (2011). Measuring diet and physical activity in weight management interventions. Retrieved 7 May, 2015,
Roberts K & Flaherty SJ. (2010). Review of dietary assessment methods in public health. Oxford: National Obesity Observatory.


Document last updated June 2020