Every living thing has to have energy to survive. Plants get their energy from the sun, animals get their energy from plants or from other animals, and humans get their energy from food (which comes from plants or animals). This is typically referred to as the food chain.
What is energy?
Energy is the ability to do work (move, dance, walk, run, play, etc). Our body needs energy to perform essential functions (breath, pump blood, send messages, talk, etc). Energy comes from an external source, food, which we put into our bodies.
Does it matter what type of energy we put into our bodies?
Yes! It not only matters what type of energy we consume, but how much energy we consume. The type energy that is best will come from a diet with a lot of variety. This means eating from the five food groups and limiting foods of minimal nutritional value (sweets, potato chips, soda, etc)
What if we get too much energy?
Energy not used by our daily activities and essential body functions is stored in the body. Energy is stored in our bodies in the form of extra weight. To make sure that we balance the amount of energy we consume with the amount of energy we expend, we need to incorporate physical activity into our daily routine. Our body uses energy to do everything, even to sleep. But there is usually a little extra that we should use to play with our friends, take a walk, do chores, or anything else we consider a fun way to be physically active.
What is energy balance?
Energy balance means eating enough food to do what we want to do and to be healthy, but not eating too much and getting too little physical activity. Balance means two things are equal or almost equal.
*Show the students the Energy Balance illustrations found with this lesson.
Do Activities 1 & 2 to help the students understand the concepts discussed above.