My Body: Digesting Food

I chew my food to make it mushy.
I swallow the mushy food.
It gets more mushed up inside my stomach & guts.
Some of the food helps my body grow.
The last bit gets pushed out of my body.

Our body must digest (say die-jest) food we have eaten. When we chew, food is crushed up and mixed with saliva (spit) so it becomes mushy.

We swallow the mush and it travels through the esophagus (say ee-sof-a-gus), a long tube that runs from the mouth, before it goes into the stomach. Inside the stomach there are juices that mix the food until it looks like thick soup.

Next, the food goes into a long tube all folded up inside the body. It is called the small intestine. Juices from the liver mush up the food even more, and good things from the food go into the blood, which takes them to parts of the body where they are needed.

The food then goes to the large intestine. Water from the food goes into the blood.

By now, the body has taken all the things it needs from the food. What is left is waste that is not needed by the body. It gets stored at the end of the large intestine inside the rectum. The waste must leave or the body will get sick. Muscles push the waste out of the body through the anus, which is the opening in your bottom.

How long does it take for the body to digest food?
Food can be
3-4 hours in the stomach, then about 3 more hours as it moves through the intestine. It can stay in the the large intestine for up to 36 hours. So, depending on the type of food and the speed at which it moves, it can take about 40 hours or more.

To read more about the digestive system go here:

This is a website suggested and recommended by Danielle, a student in Colorado, USA. Thanks Danielle!

Back to Food and My Body index

Sydenham & Thomas, [online]
Updated April 2008 ©kidcyber