Year 3 science: Animals, including humans: understanding that animals need nutrition to survive.

                                                                                                                                                      HEALTHY EATING

 To keep your body fit and healthy you need a balanced diet using all of the food groups.

Carbohydrates – Main source of energy for our bodies (rice, potatoes, pasta and bread).

Protein – Repairs and builds muscles, organs and immunity (fish, meat, eggs and cheese).

Sugar and Fats – Stored for energy and creates a layer of fat to keep us warm. Should not have too much of these (chocolate, sweets, butter, oil, cream).

Vitamins and Minerals – Keeps us growing and fighting infections (fruit and vegetables).

                                                                                                                                    SKELETONS & MUSCLES

The skeleton protects our internal organs, keeps us supported and helps us move. Skeletons move because bones are attached to muscles. When a muscle contracts (bunches up), it gets shorter and pulls up the bone it is attached to. When a muscle relaxes, it goes back to its normal size.



                                                                                                                                              Focus scientist

Elsie Widdowson (1906-2000) was a British dietician and nutritionist who loved experiments. She wrote a book which told us for the first time what energy and nutrition was in different foods. She also played a key role in wartime rationing.


Greg Whyte OBE (born 1967) is a former Olympian and a sports scientist. He is a Professor in Applied Sport & Exercise Science at Liverpool John Moores University. He is an expert on exercise physiology, sports performance and rehabilitation. He has also been involved with Comic Relief.


     Key Vocabulary

nutrition: the study of food and how it works in your body. It includes carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins and minerals.

carbohydrate: the main source of energy for our bodies (rice, potatoes, pasta and bread).

fats: stored for energy and creates a layer of fat to keep us warm (chocolate, sweets, butter, oil, cream).

protein: repairs and builds muscles and organs (fish, meat, eggs and cheese).

vitamin & minerals: these help us to grow, form bone and muscle and prevent infection (fruit and vegetables).

skeleton: it’s a strong structure made of bone which supports us so we can stand, protects internal organs from damage and allows movement.

vertebrate: is an animal with an internal backbone.

invertebrate: is an animal without an internal backbone.

endoskeleton: an internal support made of bone that gives the body shape and allows it to move.

exoskeleton: a hard covering that supports and protects the bodies of some types of animals. The word exoskeleton means “outside skeleton.” Many invertebrates, or animals without backbones, have exoskeletons.

muscle: an organ of the body which allows for the body to move as they are attached to the skeleton.

contract: when muscles tense.

relax: when muscles are less tense and return to normal size.

This lesson teaches students how to recognize the food groups that humans need in order to live healthily.


Students will be able to

  • understand that animals, including humans, cannot make their own food and instead must get nutrition from their diet,
  • learn the main food groups that humans need for a healthy diet: meat and fish, fruits and vegetables, sugar and starch, and fats and oils,
  • understand why we need each of the food groups and the importance of a balanced diet,
  • learn that foods should be eaten in moderation and that eating too much of any food group is not healthy.

Key Vocabulary

healthy: in a good physical and mental condition 

nutrients : substances that living things need to stay alive and healthy

energy :strength to be able to move and grow

saturated fats: types of fats, considered to be less healthy, that should only be eaten in small amounts

unsaturated fats: fats that give you energy, vitamins and minerals

  • Living things need food to grow and to be strong and healthy.
  • Plants can make their own food, but animals cannot.
  • To stay healthy, humans need to exercise, eat a healthy diet and be hygienic.
  • Animals, including humans, need food, water and air to stay alive.

The food we eat contains the nutrients that our bodies need to replace worn-out cells, stay healthy and stay strong. It is the same for every living organism. … Plants use sugars, fats and proteins to grow and stay healthy. They produce these themselves with the help of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide.
All living things need food to stay alive, grow, and get energy. Nutrition is the process by which living things get or make food. All animals get food by eating other living things. Herbivores eat plants, while carnivores eat other animals.

Human Diet
How well we eat will determine how well our bodies work and can affect how long we live. The human body needs a ​balanced diet ​to work properly. This means eating the right amount of food from the 4 main food groups, each of which performs a specific function for our bodies:

  • Carbohydrates ​ – give us energy. They make up about a third of the food we eat and are mainly found in starchy foods such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and cereals.
  • Proteins ​ – help our bodies to repair themselves and build muscles. They are found in foods such as fish, meat, nuts, seeds, beans, eggs and cheese.
  • Fats​ – give our bodies energy that can be stored and provide a fat layer under our skin to keep us warm. Found in foods such as butter, cheese, fried foods, cakes, biscuits etc.
  • Vitamins and minerals ​ – help with many vital jobs around our bodies e.g. healing wounds, building strong bones and teeth, making blood and keeping our brain working. Found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, fish and milk.

It is important that each of these food groups is eaten in the correct proportion, in order to remain healthy. Whilst a small amount of fat is important for health, eating too much fat is unhealthy and can cause some serious health problems.

Nutrition Worksheets

Plants, meat or both?

Herbivores eat plants, carnivores eat meat and omnivores eat everything. Students learn this vocabulary and classify animals by what they eat.

The Six Essential Nutrients

match the nutrient with its function.


Year 3 Science Worksheets (Download and print) and Online Tests

Comprehensive Year 3 Preparatory package targeted towards Maths and Science