First annual “Family and Consumer Sciences Day” in Minnesota


Sixto Salinas, Writer

Thanksgiving is a time spent with family, but if Thanksgiving wasn’t a holiday, would the number of people cooking and eating with family change? December 3  is an ordinary Wednesday-a week day when not many events or activities are planned. It was on this day in 1842 that Ellen Swallow Richards was born. For Swallow Richards, it was years later when she made history by becoming the first woman to be accepted into a scientific school and the first female graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Later in 1909, she founded the American Home Economics Association, now known as the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, or AAFCS. Swallow Richards was a special and important woman. It is for her accomplishments and impact that the AAFCS has chosen Dec. 3 to celebrate the first annual Family and Consumer Sciences Day. To help spread the news, MN governor, Mark Dayton designated Dec. 3 as “Minnesota’s Family and Consumer Sciences Day.”

In the past 20 dinners have declined 33%”

— Anita Grurian, PhD

Busy family schedules are cutting into family dinners—46 percent of those surveyed said eating together is difficult to do on a regular basis. “In the past 20 dinners have declined 33%,” stated PhD Anita Gurian in her article, “Family meals matter-staying connected.” To celebrate, the association wants participants to stay indoors for dinner. To not just make a meal by themselves, but with the family. Sounds easy enough. Sounds like a normal thing to do, but with more food establishments, more families are eating out instead of dining in. The AAFCS purpose is to combat obesity through a simple action- preparing a healthy meal at home instead of grabbing fast food or take out. The theme/motto is “‘Dining In’ for Healthy Families.” The association set a goal of having 200,000 families nationwide prepare and eat a healthy meal together and by doing so, strengthen relations with one another. Mrs. Pittman, a FACS teacher, said, “With the high rate of obesity in this country, especially among children, Family and Consumer Sciences Day calls attention to something simple families can do to be healthier- prepare and eat a nutritious meal together. The OHS FACS Department is happy to take part in this important event.”

How often can one say they participated in the first annual event, of both a nation and a state. Take this opportunity to spend time strengthening family bonds, eat a nutritious meal and add this event to the list of things accomplished.