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Life Science for Kids: How Plants Make Food

Updated on May 6, 2013

Do you know that plants make their own food? Now, if you’re picturing a plant cooking at a stove, you're probably thinking that can’t be true. But plants don’t have to cook like people do to make their own food. They use something called photosynthesis to make the food they need. That’s pho-to-syn-the-sis. Photo means light. Plants use sunlight to make food.

In nature, there are food producers and food consumers. Plants are producers. This means they can make their own food using air, light, soil, and water. Animals are consumers. They must find food to eat.

Photosynthesis Song

Chlorophyll and Pores

You know that plants use their roots to drink water. Did you also know that they use their leaves to absorb or take in sunlight?

Leaves have something called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll makes leaves green. It also lets the plant take in sunlight.

Look carefully at the leaves of a plant. You will see lots of small holes. These holes are called pores. They are also called stoma or stomata. These pores or stoma take in air. The plant uses air, sunlight and water to create a food called glucose. This is called photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis for kids
Photosynthesis for kids | Source


To make food a plant needs air, sunlight and water. Water from the roots goes through the plant to the leaves. The leaves absorb a gas called carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and they use chlorophyll to collect and store energy from the sun. Water and carbon dioxide are the two main ingredients the plant needs to make food.

Water is made up of two gases called oxygen and hydrogen. During photosynthesis, the oxygen is released into the air. The hydrogen is used to make the sugars the plant uses for food.


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