Carbohydrates Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

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  • 0:04 What Is a Carbohydrate?
  • 0:26 Simple & Complex Carbohydrates
  • 1:39 How Are Carbohydrates…
  • 2:19 Carbohydrate Facts
  • 2:39 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jaclyn Radtke

I am a second grade teacher. I have been teaching second grade for two years. I previously taught fifth grade. I work in an urban school district. I am also interesting in drama and dance, which is why I am currently an assistant director of our after school for the arts program and co-director/choreographer of our school productions. I have a bachelors and a masters degree in elementary education.

Carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy. In this lesson, you will learn about how carbohydrates get broken down and the two different types of carbohydrates.

What Is a Carbohydrate?

Did you know that most foods you eat contain carbohydrates? Can you imagine a day with no energy? Luckily, as long as you're eating something, your body will have the energy it needs.

A carbohydrate is the main source of energy for a person's body. Carbohydrates are found in most foods, and get broken down to provide a person with energy to get through the day.

Simple & Complex Carbohydrates

There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. While both types of carbohydrates provide the body with a source of energy, each type contains different types of necessary sugars.

Simple carbohydrates contain simple sugars. There are simple sugars found in sugary foods, like candy and cookies, from the white grains of sugar that you use when you bake a cake or something sweet. These sugars break down inside your body quickly, so they give your body a quick boost of energy. A person can also get simple sugars from eating fruits, which contain a more natural type of simple carbohydrate. These foods also provide the body with other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

Complex carbohydrates are known as starches. Starches come from the grain food group. Some grains are better than others. Grains can include pasta, bread, rice, and cereal. Grains are considered a more complex carbohydrate because they are a slower-digesting sugar, and contain a higher number of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that are essential for your body's growth and health. Refined grains, such as white rice and white bread, do not contain as many vitamins and minerals as brown rice and whole-grain bread.

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