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In the Loop with Your Intestines

You probably don't think too much about your intestines, but they're a big part of you. You have a small intestine and a large intestine looping through your belly. By the time you grow up, your intestines stretch about 24 feet long!

Your intestines are part of your digestive system. As your stomach finishes churning up the food you eat, it feeds small amounts into your small intestine. You absorb the nutrients you need (like carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals) from the small intestine. Then, the small intestine sends what's left into your large intestine. The large intestine absorbs a few more nutrients and some water. What's left is the solid waste (you know!) that comes out when you go to the bathroom.

Did you ever find it hard to go to the bathroom? What a yucky feeling! To make sure food gets a smooth ride through your intestines, eat lots of foods that give you fiber. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that moves through you and comes out the other end. Some foods with fiber are fruits and veggies, raisin bran and whole wheat bread. Fiber needs lots of fluid to work right, so drink up! Moving around a lot by playing, walking, running and jumping helps keep things moving through your intestines, too.

Try these recipes that are good for your intestines:
Insect-Infested Logs
Mmm Mmmorning Sundae
Super-Duper Shakin' Snack Mix

Reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Panel, 2006