Lesson 50: Calories

Food gives energy to the body to keep you alive, growing, and active. This energy comes from calories found in food. Not everyone needs the same amount of calories each day.

A person doing hard manual work needs about 3,700 calories a day. A professional athlete also needs an equally high calorie diet. An average woman needs to eat about 2000 calories per day to maintain her weight. An average man requires 2500 calories to maintain his weight.

Excess calories cause weight gain, and not enough calories can cause you to be underweight. Consuming enough calories helps your body maintain a healthy weight.

Foods high in calories are rice, oil, butter, cheese, jam, honey and nuts. These are only a few examples of high calorie foods. They can be eaten in moderation.

Junk food is high in calories but low in nutrition and fibre. Sweets, chocolates and cakes and packaged potato chips are junk food. You can have them, but only as a treat!

Foods such as eggs, fish, bananas and milk contain an average amount of calories. Skimmed milk, vegetables and most fruit are low in calories.

What do you have for breakfast? A cup of tea with milk and sugar contains about 40 calories. There are about 120 calories in 2 slices of white bread. A small banana contains about 90 calories.

A) Vocabulary – Please make sentences with these words. The sentences should show that you understand the meaning of the word.

Energy – strength and power
Calorie – a measurement of the amount of energy that food provides
Manual – work done with the hands
Diet – food and drink
Average – normal, standard
Maintain – continue, preserve
Consume – eat and drink
Moderation – with self- control, balance
Junk food – food that is high in calories but low in food value
Nutrition – food for health and growth
Fibre – plant material that cannot be digested but that helps you to digest other food

B) Discussion points

  1. Do you have a healthy diet?
  2. What are your favourite foods that are high in calories? Remember that you can eat them in moderation.
  3. Please give two examples of manual work.
  4. If you do manual work why do you need to consume a high calorie diet?
  5. Do you think a child of ten needs as many daily calories as an athlete?
  6. Please give two examples of junk food.
  7. Do you enjoy having junk food?
  8. How much junk food do you have in your daily diet?
  9. What do you have for lunch?
  10. What do you have for dinner?