Exam Lessons Home Economics

Healthy feeding habits

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Meaning and functions of food

Food is any substance liquid or solid which when taken in and digested provides the body with nourishment, energy, enhances growth and regulates the body processes. Nutrients are simple chemical substances present in small or large amount in our food. We have six classes of food nutrient performing their specific functions.

Nutrition is the scientific study of the food we eat and how it nourishes our body.

Functions of food

Food performs the following functions:

  1. It provide the body with heat and energy
  2. It helps in the growth and repair of body tissues
  3. food is necessary for good health and vitality
  4. It protects the body from diseases
  5. Roughages in food helps bowel movement and prevents constipation
  6. For proper bone and teeth formation e.g. iron calcium , iodine in foods

Food Groups

Foods can be grouped according to the nutrients they contain and the functions they perform in the body. Foods are therefore grouped into the following classes:

  1. Body building foods (proteins) this group include meat, fish, milk, beans, egg etc.

2. Energy food (mainly carbohydrates and fats). Examples are Yam, cassava, potatoes, bread, maize, Palm oil       etc.

3. Protective foods: (Vitamins and Minerals) these helps us to protect the body from diseases. Examples are fruits and vegetables.

4.Roughages – They help to increase the bulk of food, aid digestion and bowel movements thereby preventing constipation.

Foods that supply roughages

Among the protective nutrients we have those referred to as ‘micro nutrients’. They are essential for good health and for proper functioning of the body processes.

Examples are vitamin A Iodine and Iron.


  1. What is food, nutrient, and nutrition?
  2. State 5 functions of food.
  3. With examples, classify foods according to their group.

Sub-Topic 2: Good feeding habits and table manners

Feeding habit means every day pattern of eating. It involves the tendency to reach out for the same foods whenever you are hungry. Some feeding habits are developed when you are young. Other habits develop from factors in your current life style.

A healthy feeding habit results from choosing nutritious food in a conscious way while unhealthy feeding habit results from making poor food choices over a period of time.

Importance of Healthy feeding Habit

Healthy feeding habit will help you to achieve the following:

  1. Look and feel better
  2. Have a body that is better equipped to heal fast and properly when, attacked by diseases than a poorly nourished one.
  3. Have more energy.

4. Prevent you from getting some diseases later in life.

Healthy feeding habit and Table manners include:

  1. Eat a variety of foods. Eat food from all the food groups
  2. Balance the food with physical activity.
  3. Always eat 3 balanced meals daily
  4. Choose nutritious food in a conscious way
  5. Choose diet that contains sugar, salt and sodium moderately
  6. Sit upright at the dining table when eating
  7. Always wash your hands before and after meals
  8. Do not hurry over meals
  9. chew your food properly
  10. Do not talk with food in your mouth
  11. Never use the knife to put food into your mouth
  12. Avoid picking your teeth with your finger nails, rather, use tooth pick
  13. Do not stretch your hand over someone’s food in order to reach for salt, water etc.


  1. Define: (a) healthy feeding habit (b) unhealthy feeding habit
  2. Mention four importance of  healthy feeding habit
  3. Enumerate ten good feeding habit and table manners.


Workbook on Home Economics New Concept for Nigeria Jnr. Sec. Schools Bk.1 (ps.28-29).


List five dishes that are generally eaten in your home. what nutrients are present in each?