67: Paediatric Nutrition and Insulin Resistance with Dr Emily Ventura, PhD: making eating well sustainable for your children and avoiding the disordered eating narrative

I’m back with my first episode of The PCOS Nutritionist Podcast for 2021! For this first episode back in the new year, I have a super juicy episode for you all. 

I know a lot of you either with children already or planning to have children are concerned about how your predisposition to insulin resistance (which roughly 80% of women with PCOS have) will affect your children’s health now and going forward.

It’s hard enough as it is working on your own insulin resistance but how do you even start to approach your children’s nutrition? Getting children on board with picking vegetables over cheerios cereal, sweet snack packs and ice cream is no easy task – I have so much respect for you mamas out there!

It may seem overwhelming to make changes to your children’s nutrition, particularly if they’re wedded to a sugary cereal and juice in the morning and think vegetables “taste yucky”. So how do you approach making eating healthy, reducing (but not demonising) sugar and cooking a fun, exciting experience that you’re kids want to get involved in? And if you’ve got insulin resistance, how do you manage the potential genetic predisposition your children may also have without demonising foods, having ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods and creating a disordered narrative around food?

Given that so many women with PCOS deal with insulin resistance, so many women also struggle with disordered eating (usually in part as a result of their PCOS symptoms) and having had women ask me about setting their children up with a healthy diet and narrative around food, I figured this episode would be the perfect episode to start the new year with!

Now, I’m no pediatric nutritionist and I don’t have any children myself, so I felt that it would be remiss of me to talk to this on my own. Luckily, I found myself in conversation at the end of last year with the wonderful Dr Emily Ventura, a researcher with a Masters in Public Health and PhD in Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California, a nutrition educator, public health advocate, writer, cook and mother of two – who also has PCOS. 

I thought she was the perfect person to speak all about the issue of managing your children’s nutritional health (without the disordered eating tendencies). And we all know that getting kids to eat well is often no easy feat – especially when it’s vegetables versus cake, crisps and sugary drinks. 

We talk about all things pediatric nutrition, sugar, insulin resistance and provide you with some actionable tips that you can use with your family to make healthy eating fun and sustainable for both you and your little ones. Being both a mum and a researcher in pediatric nutrition, Emily has the perfect balance of knowledge and real-life experience to discuss this subject and I’m beyond excited for you all to hear this fascinating conversation!

This episode is for you if:

  • Have insulin resistance
  • Have children or are currently TTC
  • You want to know more about how sugar affects your children’s health
  • Your children struggle with mood swings
  • You’re looking for tools to nourish your children without demonising or idolising foods
  • You’re starting out with healthy eating and want some tips

Some things we cover in this episode:

  • Emily’s journey with PCOS and background in pediatric nutrition
  • How sugar can affect your children’s behaviour
  • Making healthy eating and cooking fun for kids
  • How to develop good eating patterns without demonising sugar
  • How to expose your children to different types of foods
  • How to stop your children getting on the sugarcoaster
  • How much protein children need (by age)

Resources and References: