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Grades 6


We eat a variety of foods to satisfy our needs everyday because it is important for our body. It is important that we eat the right amount of each type of food. There are different types of food. Each type of food performs specific functions in our body. To stay healthy, we are advised to eat food which contains a combination of many types. Some food can give us energy while others can make us grow. A combination of essential foods is called a balanced diet. It is generally believed that you are what you eat.


The purpose of this lesson is to draw attention to what makes a balanced diet. The different food items, their sources and content will be discussed. Local food items which contain the essential things which make up a balanced diet will be discussed.


Students will be able to:

  1. List at least 10 different food items taken in their community
  2. Identify what each food item contains
  3. Make a list of different food items which eaten can constitute a balanced diet..


Uncooked food items are things students can be asked to bring as samples to the class.

Grain such as maize, beans Small quantities of local cooking oil Some local fruits in season The class teacher can augment with special food items. It is important that cooked food items as much as possible be avoided as these rot easily and are difficult to keep. The food items could be placed on a table in the Science Corner of the classroom. Simple laboratory chemicals and simple glassware for testing food items..

Activities and Procedures

The local food items and the prevalent eating habits of the community should be the launch pad for this lesson. What are the common food items? The students should be asked to make a comprehensive list of local food items. The food people generally eat may not be what they need. The food we need are usually determined by what part the food items play in our body. For a healthy body, the following types of food are necessary:
Food for energy known as CARBOHYDRATES such as grains along with FATS and OILS such as vegetable oils Body building food known as PROTEIN such as meat, fish, milk Health preserving food known as VITAMINS and MINERALS such as fruits,Water,Roughage such as vegetables Here is a simple Poem which the students can learn about the different types of food. Fish, meat, beans and eggs I need you for body repair. Yams, rice and other grains Give the strength I need for work The concept of a BALANCED DIET can then be introduced. People usually talk of having a balanced diet. What this means should here be explained. In the first place, diet is what a person eats each day. Balanced diet means eating the right kind of food in the right quantities. Eating the right kind of food could now be easily determined from what we know of food items. But to determine the right quantities of food to eat is not easy. This is a good point for discussion. To get round the problem, it is possible to find out what people who are not healthy eat and compare this with what they actually need. The state of health of a person could be linked to the type of food the person usually takes.


This lesson should provide opportunity for self examination-what individual family members eat and their state of health. An assessment of the eating habits of the community could be assessed-do people eat what they need or just what is available. Is there any room for the local meals to be supplemented in order to have balanced diet for all?


Balanced diet means eating the right amount of foods from all available food groups. It refers to the intake of edibles which can provide all the essential constituents necessary for growth, development and maintenance of the body. While prescribing balanced diet following points must be considered.

  1. It must contain all the essential constituents in adequate amount.
  2. The food should be easily digestible and should be given according to age.
  3. A definite proportion between the different constituents of food should be taken, the ususal ratio between carbohydrates, protiens and fats should be 4:1:1.

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Balance diet


Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals are major constituents of balanced diet.


Carbohydraes provide a major part of energy in human diets. Foods rich in carbohydrates are usually the most abundant and cheapest when compared with foods high in protein and fat content. During metabolism they burns and produce energy in the form of ATP, liberating CO2 and water. Carbohydrates are generally of

  • Starch
  • Sugar

Starches are generally found in grains whiles sugar is found in fruits. Carbohydrates are used by the cells in the form of glucose. After absorption from small intestine, glucose is processed in the liver and stores in the form of glycogen, a starch like substance and passes the rest into bloodstream. Glucose forms triglycerides, which are fat compounds which can be broken down into ketones. Glucose is carried by the bloodstream to the muscle and organ to be oxidized and excess quantities are stored as fats. The most nutrients carbohydrates are unrefined grains, tubers, vegetables and fruits which also provide proteins, vitamins, minerals and fats. A less beneficial source is food made from refined sugar such as candy and soft drinks which are high in calories but low in nutrients.


Proteins are broken down in during digestion by enzymes known as proteases into smaller polypeptides to provide amino acids for the organism, including the essential amino acids that the organism cannot biosynthesize itself. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and also important nutritional sources of nitrogen. Sources of protein include legumes, nuts, grains, meats, eggs and dairy products such as milk and cheese. Of the 20 amino acids used by humans in protein synthesis, "nonessential" amino acids can be synthesized in sufficient quantities by the adult body, and are not required in the diet. The essential amino acids cannot be prepared by the body and must come from dietary sources.


Fats produce more than double the energy compared to carbohydrates. Fat is stored in the body for later use when carbohydrates are in short supply. Fats are broken down into fatty acids. The fatty acids that contain single chain of hydrogen atoms are called saturated fatty acids and are derived mostly from animal sources. Unsaturated fatty acids are those having hydrogen atoms having double of triple bond. Polyunsaturated fats are found mostly in seed oils. Saturated fats in bloodstream have found to raise the cholesterol level and polyunsaturated fat tends to lower it. Saturated fats at room temperature are solid while polyunsaturated fats are liquid.


Vitamins are organic compounds which enhance the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Without vitamins the breakdown of food could not occur. They are classified into two groups i.e. fat soluble and water soluble vitamins. The fat soluble vitamins are Vitamin A, D, E and K and the water soluble vitamins are Vitamin B-complex and Vitamin C. The deficiecy of vitamins caused various disorders in the humans.


The major elements such as calcium, phosphorous, magnisium, iron, iodine, and potassium; and traces elements such as copper, cobalt, manganese, zinc, Selenium and flurine are requiried by the body for development of growth.


Water constitute about seventy percent of human body tissues. By weight water constitutes two third of the weight of a human body. It doesn’t only maintain the temperature of body and helps in digestion but removes waste products from the body. In this way water is essential constituent of balanced diet.


A balanced diet leads to proper growth and development in organism hence every one should take balanced diet.

Resource Persons

  1. Hari Krishna Arya
  2. Amit kumar
  3. Surendra Mishra
  4. Taslim Ahmed
  5. Dr. Rajeev Vats


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