After you eat food the good parts of the food (called NUTRIENTS) need to be chemically changed (digested) and then absorbed into the blood stream so we can use it for energy and growth.

Food enters the body at the MOUTH and is digested mainly in the SMALL INTESTINE

Why we need food (summary)
Why we need food Type of
Foods for GROWTH PROTEIN Cheese, eggs, milk
Foods for ENERGY Sugar and starch
Sugar, potatoes
rice, bread
Foods to keep us
Vitamins and minerals Fruit and

We need food to give us energy, help us grow and keep us healthy

Foods for growth and repair

These are foods that contain Protein

Protein is the main body building nutrient.
It helps us grow and builds up muscles.

Examples:    Meat, fish and eggs. Cheese and soya

Foods for Energy

These foods contain starch, sugar  (sometimes called carbohydrate)

They supply our body with energy (just like a battery for a toy).

The energy is needed to help us  grow  and keep us  warm

Examples:               Bread,  potatoes, pasta, rice, cakes and sweets

Bread, potatoes, pasta and rice give their energy slowly and may be eaten with any meal.

Cakes and sweets give their energy quickly and should only be eaten in small amounts.

(Oils and fats like butter and cream also give us energy but are not good for our heart.)

Foods to keep us healthy

These foods contain lots of vitamins and minerals

Examples:   Fruit and vegetables

 LEMONS contain lots of vitamin C which helps stop an illness called Scurvy  which used to make sailors ill.

Vitamin C also helps with colds and ‘flu.

Milk and cheese contain lots of  Calcium  which is good for your  bones

Spinach contains lots of Iron which is good for your blood


A balanced Diet

When people go ‘on a diet’ they normally mean a diet low in starch and sugar… which helps you lose weight.
In fact everybody has a diet .. your diet is evrything you eat

You are eating a balanced diet when you eat the correct amount of each type of food:

Lots of bread and cereals.  These contain lots of fibre and are low in sugar and fat

Lots of fruit and vegetable. These are high in fibre, low in fat and salt and contain vitamins we need.     Fibre helps our digestion.

Some milk and meat. Milk and meat contain protein which we need but are also high in fat

Only a small amount of sweet or fatty food which can damage our heart when older and make us fat if we don’t exercise enough.

balanced diet

We should also limit our salt to 6g a day. This is about a teaspoon full. A lot of cooked food, like bread, bacon or ‘ready meals’ also contain lots of salt

waterWe also should drink at least 2½  litres of water a day

Don’t drink it all in one go… spread it out.
Don’t drink it all as a fruit juice … that would give you too much sugar


Contain lots of fibre, with only a small amount of sugar, fat and salt.
Examples of healthy foods: fruit and vegetables, brown bread, brown rice

Contain lots of fat, sugar or salt and not enough vitamins or minerals.

Examples of unhealthy foods: cream cakes, chips, crisps. Even bought fruit smoothies.


For more detail visit the KS3 page