A total of 225 children attending year 7 classes in state primary schools in Perth, Australia, participated in the study. Nutrient intakes were determined by a number of low-intensity methods and compared with intakes determined by a reference method based on 14 24-h diet records collected over several months and covering each day of the week twice. The low-intensity methods were (i) a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) administered to the children in school, (ii) the same FFQ administered to the children's parents by post and (iii) a small number (one, two or three) of 24-h diet records completed by the children. The FFQ included 175 food items, the time frame was 'during the previous week' and information on size of servings was not requested. The results indicated poor agreement between the reference method and the FFQ methods. In contrast, agreement between the reference method and methods based on two or three diet records in the series was relatively good.