What do Pandas Eat? - Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Sara Clarke-Vivier

Sara is a recently graduated PhD in Education with interdisciplinary experience in K-12 education.

Come on a food adventure through the leafy forests of China. Here we will learn about a panda's favorite food- bamboo! But pandas can't only eat bamboo-- in this lesson, we will also explore what else keeps these bears fed.

What Do Pandas Eat?

Pandas are large animals. They can grow to be 4-6 feet long and may weigh as much as 350 pounds. An animal that big needs a lot of food to survive, and pandas are very, very picky about what they will have for dinner. In fact, about 99% of a panda's diet is made up of one plant: bamboo.

A Panda Eating Bamboo Shoots
A Panda Eating Bamboo Shoots

What Is Bamboo?

Bamboo is actually a type of grass that grows in warm, moist climates like the hilly regions of central China. It is green and has hollow stems and long, narrow leaves.

Pandas eat all parts of the bamboo, including the stems, leaves, and shoots. Bamboo shoots are the young, tender bamboo plants.

Bamboo is actually one of the fastest growing plants in the world. In some places, bamboo may grow as much as three feet in one day. This is a good thing for pandas, because they eat a lot of bamboo.

A Forest of Bamboo
A Forest of Bamboo

Even though bamboo grows quickly, there isn't always enough of it for pandas. In fact, human destruction of bamboo forests is one of the reasons that pandas are endangered. When humans remove bamboo forests to create land for farming, for example, pandas are not able to find enough food to survive and reproduce.

How Much Bamboo Do Pandas Eat?

Even though pandas love bamboo, they do not get a lot of nutrition from eating it. In order to get enough of the calories and nutrients they need to survive, a panda must eat between 25 and 80 pounds per day. That's like eating more than 100 servings of broccoli in one day!

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account