Stomach Facts: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:00 What Is the Stomach?
  • 0:38 What Does the Stomach Do?
  • 0:47 Storing Food
  • 1:18 Digesting Food
  • 2:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lindsy Frazer

Dr. Frazer has taught several college level Science courses and has a master's degree in Human Biology and a PhD in Library and Information Science.

In this lesson, we will discuss the stomach, your body's stretchy storage tank. You'll learn where the stomach is located and how it helps digest the food you eat.

What Is the Stomach?

If someone asked you to point to your stomach, where would you point? Many people think their stomach is in the area by their belly button, which is located in the abdomen (the area of the body between the ribs and hips), but your stomach actually higher up in your abdomen. Your stomach is in the top of your abdomen on the left side of your body.

The stomach is in the top part of your abdomen on the left side of your body.

Shaped like the letter J, your stomach is mostly an empty sack. Even though some people's abdomens look larger than others, everyone's stomach is about the same size: 12 inches long and 6 inches wide.

What Does the Stomach Do?

The stomach's main jobs are to store and break down the food you eat. Let's explore these two functions in more detail.

Storing Food

Just like your backpack is flat when empty and stretches to hold your books, your stomach stretches to hold all the food you eat. Food can be stored in your stomach for up to five hours, but it usually only takes about three hours for your stomach to digest and pass it on to the intestines.

Think about the last time you ate a large meal. Did your stomach feel really big? That is because it stretched to hold all that food. In fact, your stomach is so stretchy that it can expand to hold over a gallon of food!

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