Karen Heald, MD
Dr. Heald is a mom of four boys and a board-certified family physician in private practice outside Atlanta, GA.
How many children do you have? I have four sons, ages 14, 12, 8, and 6. My eight-year-old is intellectually challenged and autistic.
What’s your specialty? Family medicine
What’s your favorite parenting tip? Enjoy every moment of every day because it will never come again.
What has surprised you most about parenting? How vastly different each child’s personality is.
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? Since they were two years old, we’ve given our sons a fruit or vegetable at every single meal. One vegetable a day has to be green. They are allowed to choose the fruit or vegetable among whatever we have in the house. Sometimes the combinations are odd, like pizza and Brussels sprouts. But they appreciate having choices.
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? I try to waste energy. In other words, I make excuses to move, such as jogging in place, running up the stairs instead of walking, or jumping up and down and being silly with my kids. We also take active day trips, such as hikes. Instead of just watching my kids play baseball, I would jog in place at lease part of the time. You don’t have a lot of time, so sometimes you have to do two things at once (i.e. exercise and watch kids).
How do you recharge your batteries? I love to be in nature with my family, such as on a hike. I get a happiness bubble from being together as a family.