1) According to WHO/UNICEF (see guidance below), consumption of any amount of food or beverage from a food group is sufficient to “count” - i.e. there is no minimum quantity.
2) Dietary diversity is prone to seasonal differences. Do your best to collect baseline and endline data from the same period of year; otherwise, it is very likely that it will not be comparable. Do not collect data during the fasting periods (such as pre-Easter or Ramadan) and during the fasting days.
3) When training the enumerators, practice extensively which meals belong to which food group (allocate at least 3 hours full of examples and exercises). For example, while pumpkin flesh belongs to Vitamin A Rich Foods, pumpkin leaves belong to Dark Green Leafy Vegetables (see more examples in the FAO guidelines below + take advantage of the training guidance provided in chapter E of WHO/UNICEF’s publication below).
4) This indicator relies on accurate age assessment. Since people often do not remember the exact dates of their children’s birth, the enumerators should always verify the child’s age. This can be done by reviewing the child’s birth certificate, vaccination card or another document; however, since many caregivers do not have such documents (and since they can include mistakes), it is essential that the enumerators are able to verify the child’s age by using local events calendars. Read FAO’s Guidelines (see below) to learn how to prepare local events calendars and how to train enumerators in their correct use.
5) Well-designed, long-term (3 years or more) projects have a chance to increase the average dietary diversity by 1 "point"; for short-term projects, an increase by 0.5 of a "point" is the maximum, realistic increase you can expect.
6) Note that the previous version of this indicator was updated in 2017 to reflect the inclusion of breast milk as an 8th food group (see WHO/UNICEF guidance below). Among the advantages of including breast milk as another food group is that the data can be compared across breastfed and non-breastfed groups of children. When interpreting the indicator data, pay attention to the extent to which changes to dietary diversity are happening due to children receiving more (or less) diverse food versus due to more (or fewer) children being breastfed.
7) If the caregiver is taking care of two children aged 6 - 23 months (from the same household) and household sampling has been used, then data should be collected for both children. If a list method has been used and children have been identified as the primary sampling unit, then data should only be collected for the sampled child.
8) BHA phrases the indicator differently, as "percent of children 6–23 months of age who receive foods from 5 or more food groups (MDD)", although the meaning and the methodology are the same.