A Kid’s Guide to the Digestive System in Spanish
Teaching your kids about the digestive system in Spanish connects them to an important process that happens in their body everyday. Knowing how the human body works is essential to helping kids comprehend the importance of eating well to stay healthy.
There’s much more to eating than meets the eye! Think about your child’s snack time or lunch. Picture them devouring a pizza, eating some fruit, and brushing their teeth. In a few minutes, they’ll probably be thinking about homework for Spanish class or playing games. But they’ll still have food in their stomach, and a vital chemical process is taking place.
Use this insightful article and suggested activities as your go-to-guide for teaching the digestive system in Spanish for your kids. Let’s get started!
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What is the Digestive System?
The digestive system in Spanish is el aparato digestivo or el sistema digestivo. The human body uses this system to transform food into the nutrients we need to stay healthy and strengthen our immune system.
El cuerpo humano (the human body) consists of millions of cells that need energy and nutrients to thrive, grow, and reproduce. These nutrients are obtained from the food we eat.
Our digestive system has two main functions:
- la digestión mecánica (mechanical digestion) – voluntary and involuntary body movements like masticar (chewing) or tragar (swallowing)
- la digestión química (chemical digestion) – chemical reactions between nutrients, proteins, and liquids produced by the organs
Digestive System in Spanish Vocabulary
Let’s take a look at at this list of body organs and other body parts in Spanish that are part of the digestive system.
|Digestive system||El sistema digestivo / el aparato digestivo|
|Small intestine||El intestino delgado|
|Large intestine||El intestino grueso / el colón|
|Salivary glands||Las glándulas salivales|
|Biliary system||El sistema biliar|
Un buen sistema digestivo es esencial para una vida saludable.
A good digestive system is essential for a healthy life.
La comida nos brinda nutrientes y energía.
Food gives us nutrients and energy.
Una dieta balanceada contribuye a la digestión.
A balanced diet contributes to digestion.
Los órganos del sistema digestivo tienen funciones específicas.
The organs of the digestive system have specific purposes.
El sistema digestivo tiene cuatro fases.
The digestive system has four stages.
Masticar es un tipo de digestión mecánica.
Chewing is a type of mechanical digestion.
Stages of the Digestive System in Spanish
The digestive system in Spanish has cuatro fases (four stages) and functions. I’ll explain each in detail: ingestión (ingestion), digestión (digestion), absorción (absorption), and expulsión (expulsion).
1. It All Starts in the Mouth: Ingestión
The first stage of the digestive system in Spanish is ingestion. La ingestión is the process in which la comida (food) is consumed. This is the process of comiendo or alimentandose (eating). During this stage of the process, you put food in la boca (the mouth) and chew it with los dientes (the teeth).
Saliva begins to form thanks to the salivary glands, and it softens the food with help from la lengua (the tongue).
Before swallowing, the tongue creates a piece of ground and softened food known as el bolo alimenticio (the food bolus).
2. Food Travels Down: Digestión
The second stage of the digestive system is la digestión (digestion). During this stage, the food is dissolved in el estomago (the stomach). This begins when el bolo alimenticio enters la faringe (the pharynx), a muscle duct in the neck that connects the mouth and nose with el esofago (esophagus).
El esofago is about 20 centimeters long and produces involuntary movements known as movimientos peristálticos (peristaltic movements) to reduce and push el bolo alimenticio to the stomach.
El estomago (the stomach) stores the food you’ve eaten, decomposes it into liquid, and empties those liquids into the small intestine. The stomach mixes and crushes the food bolus into smaller bits with its muscular walls and los jugos gástricos (gastric juices). These juices are in charge of decomposing the food and getting rid of bacteria.
3. Our Amazing Intestines: Absorción
La absorción (absorption) is the stage where all the nutrientes (nutrients) are absorbed into the blood and transported throughout the body. This happens when the food moves from the stomach to el intestino delgado (the small intestine).
The small intestine’s diameter is just 1.5 to 2 inches. However, when it comes to the length, an adult’s small intestine can measure up to 22 feet long.
Once the food reaches the intestine, this organ absorbs vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Other organs like el higado (liver), el pancreas (pancreas), and la vesicula biliar (gallbladder) are also an important piece to this stage of the digestive system in Spanish as they help filter and digest the nutrients.
All three of these produce other types of juices that help decompose fat and protein and transport it to the bloodstream where the other nutrients are easier to access for our body to put to use.
4. Say Goodbye to Your Food: Expulsión
All the food that cannot be processed, continues its journey towards el intestino grueso (large intestine) where la expulsión (expulsion) takes place.
Like the name says, el intestino grueso is larger than the small intestine. It’s between 3 to 4 inches in diameter and measures up to 5 feet long.
The large intestine is the final part of the body where nutrients can be absorbed, as the food moves further into the last part known as el colon, it loses water and becomes hard.
These hard remnants are the end of the process and end up in the toilet when you’re ready to use the bathroom. They’re known as popo (poop) or heces (feces).
The colon pushes them out through movement until they reach el recto (the rectum). Once you go to the bathroom, these are evacuated through el ano (the anus) and end up in a toilet where they get flushed away.
Digestive System for Children: Learning Activities
Start planning your Spanish lesson with this list of creative activities for primary school students! Make sure to download your free Digestive System in Spanish Worksheets to use during your lessons.
El viaje de la comida – The Journey of Food
Use the downloadable template of the digestive system in Spanish and the cutouts to teach your child about the stages of the digestive process and the body organs. The template provides food cutouts and labels for your child to color and label the body organs.
Las partes del sistema digestivo – Parts of the Digestive System
Use our worksheet to review the digestive system vocabulary in Spanish. Have your child identify 10 body organs and identify what stage of the digestive system they’re part of.
Digestive System in Spanish Puzzle
Challenge your kids to solve a fun puzzle of the digestive system in Spanish. Give your kids plenty of clues and descriptions of the stages of the digestive system in Spanish.
Sopa de Letras – Word Search
Use the downloadable word search to reinforce spelling and pronunciation of 21 digestive system in Spanish vocabulary words.
Eat Well, Stay Healthy, and Speak Spanish!
What goes into our bodies is important for our health and growth. I hope this lesson has provided your child with a new understanding of their digestive system in both English and Spanish.
Spanish opens doors for your child’s future. It expands their possibilities of studying abroad and developing strong listening, speaking, writing, and reading skills. Becoming a confident and fluent Spanish speaker is easy for kids. It’s proven that children have the ability to acquire new language skills more naturally than adults. The sooner they are exposed to a language, the faster they’ll pick it up. Why wait? Sign your child up for a free trial class with one of our certified native Spanish-speaking teachers at Homeschool Spanish Academy today.
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