Keep your kids’ nutrition on track during the holiday season with these three tips.

“It’s okay if your meals during the holidays aren’t perfect,” says Marilyn Tanner-Blasiar, MHS, RDN, LD, CDE, FAND, a registered clinical dietitian at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “During special occasions like family dinners or parties, it’s okay to relax the rules a bit.”

Tanner-Blasiar recommends these tips to help your kids enjoy healthy foods along with their holiday treats:

  1. Plan to move. Take a family walk after dinner or send the kids outside to play. Allowing time for physical activity may help curb cravings for sugary desserts, and it might start a healthy holiday tradition.
  2. Schedule snack time. “A lot of kids will nibble on snacks during events or parties, and then not eat their dinner,” Tanner-Blasiar says. “If you plan for that by having a light lunch and moving dinner to a later time, it can help your kids eat healthy food when they need to without feeling too full.”
  3. Serve more than just snacks. “Parents forget that eating healthy isn’t just avoiding snack foods,” Tanner-Blasiar says. “We also need to make healthy choices.”

Set out veggie platters with hummus or fruit kebabs at your next holiday party to offer all of your guests healthy ways to indulge.

Visit to hear from dietitians and learn more ideas for the holidays.