There are two main ways to determine the indicator’s value. Both require conducting individual interviews with the caregivers of a representative sample of children aged 6 - 23 months:
1) Using Data from Measuring Dietary Diversity
When measuring children’s dietary diversity (see guidance), the questionnaire recommended by WHO/UNICEF also records data on the number and type of meals / snacks. You can use this data to determine the indicator’s value (it is the easiest option).
2) Asking Directly
If you do not use the questionnaire mentioned above, you should then only use the following questions:
Q1: Yesterday, during the day or at night, was [child’s name] given any breast milk?
A1: yes / no / does not know
Q2: Did [child’s name] consume any soft, semi-solid or solid food yesterday? (i.e. other than a fluid feed)
A2: yes / no / does not know
Q3: Can you please count how many times [child’s name] ate soft, semi-solid or solid food yesterday, during the entire day?
1) ..... meals / snacks
2) does not know
Count the number of surveyed children who met the minimal meal frequency, which WHO/UNICEF (see below) define as:
- two feedings of solid, semi-solid or soft foods for breastfed infants aged 6 - 8 months;
- three feedings of solid, semi-solid or soft foods for breastfed children aged 9 - 23 months; and
- four feedings of solid, semi-solid or soft foods or milk feeds for non-breastfed children aged 6 - 23 months whereby at least one of the four feeds must be a solid, semi-solid or soft food (i.e. non-fluid food).
To calculate the indicator's value, divide the number of children aged 6 - 23 months who met the "minimum meal frequency" by the total number of surveyed children aged 6 - 23 months (excluding those where a "does not know" answer was provided). Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.