Quantitative dietary recalls involve asking the respondent to estimate the amount of each food and ingredient consumed over a defined time period. A variety of two- and three-dimensional food models and/or actual foods may be used to help the respondent estimate. Especially in populations with low literacy and numeracy, quantitative recalls are challenging and require highly trained and skilled enumerators. Detailed information on local recipes for mixed dishes and on nutrient content of foods is required for data processing, analysis and interpretation.
Qualitative recalls involve asking respondents to recall food items consumed over a defined time period, but respondents are not asked to recall the amounts consumed. This type of recall is much simpler to implement and to analyse.
Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women of Reproductive Age can be measured with a qualitative recall. A quantitative recall is not required.
In situations where a quantitative recall is feasible, many more detailed indicators of diet quality can be generated.