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Components of Food

From this concept, the students will learn about the components of food

After reading the concept, students will be able to:

  • Understand what are the components of food.
  • Name the components of food.
  • Understand the importance of carbohydrates.
  • Know what are dairy products and the importance of proteins.
  • Recall the good sources of fat.
  • Know about the natural sources of calcium, iron and other important minerals.
  • Know what are the sources of vitamin A, vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D.


Each concept is explained to class 4 students using descriptions, illustrations, and concept maps. After you go through a concept, assess your learning by solving the two printable worksheets given at the end of the page.


Download the worksheets and check your answers with the worksheet solutions for the concept of Components of Food provided in PDF format.

  • Food plays a vital role in the growth and development of our bodies. It also provides energy to carry out bodily functions.
  • We eat different types of food because we derive various nutrients from them.
  • After digestion, food is broken down into simpler forms and is absorbed by our body.
  • We can broadly divide food into carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
  • Apart from these, we also get vitamins and minerals from food, which are also essential for our survival.



  • Carbohydrates are energy-producing components of food.
  • All carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars.
  • The sugars produce energy in the form of calories.
  • The energy produced is utilised by our bodies to perform different functions.


Examples of Carbohydrates Food: Starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, whole grains like wheat, bajra, corn, oats, etc. Sweet foods also contain carbohydrates like sugar, honey, syrup, etc.



  • Protein-rich foods help in the growth and development of our bodies.
  • Proteins help in the development of cells and also contribute to repairing cells.
  • Thus, proteins are the body-building components of food.
  • Proteins also help in the development of muscles.
  • It is vital for the development of growing children.
  • Lack of protein may cause stunted growth, weight reduction, and many other problems.


Examples of Protein Foods: Fish, eggs, red meat, chicken, pulses, kidney beans, and soybean are protein-rich food sources. Dairy products like cheese, paneer, yoghurt, and milk contain high amounts of protein.



  • Fats provide us with energy.
  • When we have sufficient carbohydrates inside our bodies, fats are not used up by the cells.
  • Fats are mostly stored inside our body, and during carbohydrate deficiency, they are used up by the body's cells. This is how the body utilises the energy of fats.
  • Fats also protect many vital organs of our body.

Example: Coconut oil, olive oil, mustard oil, canola oil, ghee, butter, avocado, nuts, fish oil, animal fat, etc.


What Is the Function of Vitamins?

  • Vitamins are essential micronutrients for the body. They are called micronutrients because our body needs them in tiny quantities.
  • The body cannot produce vitamins, so we have to intake them through our food.
  • Vitamins improve organ functions and protect the body from several diseases.
  • Vitamins boost up the disease-resisting capacity of our body that allows us to fight against various diseases.



Some Important Vitamins:

Name of the vitamins Sources Functions
Vitamin A Carrots, leafy greens, eggs, and dairy products. Protects eyes and improves vision.
Vitamin B Whole grains, meat, eggs, dairy, liver. Develops and protects the nervous system, helps in nutrient metabolism, and regulates blood sugar levels.
Vitamin C Oranges, kiwi, and citrus fruits. Protects and improves gums and heals wounds faster.
Vitamin D Seafood, liver, eggs, mushrooms. Helps our body absorb calcium and phosphorus and thus regulates bone mineral density. Makes our bones stronger.



  • Minerals are also essential micronutrients for our bodies.
  • They protect us from several diseases.
  • Like vitamins, minerals too, come from various types of foods.



Some Important Minerals:

Name of the minerals Sources Functions
Iron Liver, red meat, spinach. Forms new blood cells.
Iodine Salt, seafood. Helps and regulates metabolism and controls the growth and development of our bodies.
Calcium Milk and other dairy products. Helps in the calcification of bones and makes bones stronger.
Zinc Whole grains, eggs, fish, liver. Accelerates the wound healing process and helps in both metabolism and digestion.


New Words:

Metabolism: The process that involves the conversion of food into energy.

Calcification: Building up calcium in the body tissue, causing them to harden.


Did You Know?

  • If you drink water right after having food, that may reduce digestion speed and would not assimilate the nutrients that you get from your food. Try to drink water at least 2 hours after having food but do not forget to drink at least 3 to 4 litres of water a day.
  • Vitamins can be categorised into water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins.



Question 1:

Why Are Zinc Supplements Given to COVID Patients?

  • Zinc is an essential micronutrient that helps in body growth, development and wound healing.
  • Zinc supplements can cure respiratory infections that are similar to Covid-19.


Question 2:

Why Do Bodybuilders Take Protein Shakes?

  • Bodybuilders exercise to build and tone up their body muscles.
  • Protein shakes are extra protein supplements rich in amino acids, which are the building blocks of body muscles.
  • Examples of protein-rich food are meat, fish, and soya bean.


Bodybuilding Food

Question 3:

What Is Nutrition?

  • The process by which we obtain nutrients and energy from food for body growth and development is called nutrition.
  • The mode of nutrition is either autotrophic, like plants or heterotrophic, like animals.


Question 4:

What Is Anaemia, and How Can It Be Treated?

  • Anaemia is a deficiency disease characterised by low levels of haemoglobin, a red pigment in our blood.
  • Haemoglobin plays a vital role in the transport of oxygen in our body.
  • To treat anaemia, we should intake foods rich in iron like liver, spinach, red meat, raw banana etc.

Question 5:

What Is an Essential Micronutrient?

  • Vitamins and minerals are essential micronutrients.
  • These nutrients are needed in small amounts but are essential to boost our body’s immunity.
  • These are also called protective foods because they help us to fight against diseases.
  • Examples: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, and Zinc.


Question 6:

What Is Glycogen?

  • Glycogen is a carbohydrate.
  • The building unit of glycogen is glucose. A large number of glucose molecules get linked together to form glycogen.
  • The food we eat is used to produce energy. The extra food not utilised immediately for energy production gets stored in our body as glycogen to form a layer of fat.
  • This food is used by the body to produce energy when required.


Question 7:

What Is Dehydration?

  • Dehydration is the extreme loss of bodily fluids, affecting the body's essential functions.
  • A few symptoms of dehydration are- feeling thirsty, excreting dark yellow coloured urine, and feeling lightheaded and tired.
  • ORS helps to manage the loss of body fluids.


Question 8:

Why Is Calciferol Essential for the Body?

  • Vitamin D is known as calciferol.
  • This vitamin helps to absorb calcium from a variety of foods. Calcium helps calcify bones and makes our bones and teeth stronger.
  • Foods like mushrooms, liver, eggs, and sea fish are rich in calciferol.


Question 9:

How Are Vitamins Categorised?


Vitamins can be categorised into two types:

Fat-soluble vitamins Water soluble vitamins
1. These vitamins are soluble in fats like oil. 1. These vitamins are soluble in water.
2. These vitamins are stored in the liver. 2. These vitamins are not stored as much as fat-soluble vitamins.
3. Excess intake of these vitamins can cause vitamin toxicity and hypervitaminosis. 3. These vitamins are metabolised very fast and rapidly excreted in the urine.
Example-Vitamin A, D, E, K. Example-Vitamin B complex and vitamin C.


Question 10:

What Is Scurvy, and How Can It Be Treated?

  • Scurvy is a deficiency disease that is caused due to a lack of vitamin C.
  • A few distinctive symptoms of scurvy are swollen and bleeding gums, teeth sometimes falling out, skin bruises and excessive joint pain, and feeling tired and restless.
  • Scurvy can be treated with vitamin C supplements.



Question 11:

What Is the Meaning of Staple Food?

  • The food that makes up a significant portion of our diet is called staple food.
  • Rice and chapatti (wheat) are a staple food in our country.
Staple Food

Question 12:

How Can Starch Be Identified in a Food?

  • Starch can be identified using an iodine solution.
  • Iodine solution gives a blue-black colour in the presence of starch.


Question 13:

What Is Night Blindness, and How Can It Be Treated?

  • Night blindness is a deficiency disease caused due to deficiency of vitamin A.
  • It is characterised by excessive squinted and blurred vision at night.
  • Vitamin A supplements can treat night blindness. This vitamin treats dry cornea and damaged retina and thus can improve vision.
  • Some examples of food rich in Vitamin A are eggs, carrots and green leafy vegetables.


Question 14:

What Is Vitamin B Complex?

  • The Vitamin B complex is a group of vitamins soluble in water.
  • The Vitamin B complex is made up of eight types of vitamins, which are- vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12.
  • This group of vitamins helps in the metabolism of cells, regulation of appetite and digestion and maintaining cardiovascular health.


Question 15:

What Is Kwashiorkor?

  • Kwashiorkor is a severe form of malnutrition caused due to deficiency of proteins in a child's body.
  • The symptoms of kwashiorkor are- stunted growth and fluid retention in the body tissues.
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