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Large Intestine Lesson for Kids: Function & Facts

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Your large intestine is the last part of your digestive tract, and the part that is responsible for getting rid of waste. Learn how the large intestine does its icky, but important, job.

Your Digestive Tract

You go to the bathroom every day, but do your know why you've got to go? You are about to learn about the part of your body that makes poop. Poop, or feces, is the remaining scraps of food that have passed through your digestive tract, which is a long tube inside your body that breaks down food.

Your digestive tract is a long tube that breaks down food.
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As food moves through the tract, nutrients are removed and absorbed into your body. Nutrients, which include vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats, are what your body cells use for energy, repair, and growth.

Function of the Large Intestine

Once most of the nutrients have been removed, the remaining food, which is mostly waste, moves into your large intestine to be prepared for disposal. So, your large intestine is the part of your digestive tract that makes poop.

The large intestine is the part in green and blue.
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The journey to your large intestine is a long one. Many hours pass before food reaches your large intestine, and food can stay in there for more than a day! That means that the remains of the cereal, cheeseburger, and broccoli you ate yesterday, could be moving through your large intestine right now.

The food scraps that enter the large intestine still have some value, so the second job of your large intestine is to remove excess water and a few other nutrients that your body might be able to use. Removing excess water helps to dry out the feces, so it doesn't pass through you too quickly, which is what happens when you have diarrhea.

Structure of the Large Intestine

The large intestine is found in your abdomen, which is the soft area in the front of your body that you might think of as your belly. The large intestine, which is the final section of the digestive tract, runs from your small intestine to your anus and is about five feet long, which is longer than most elementary school students are tall. It is divided into three parts: the cecum, the colon, and the rectum.

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