Dine in With Your Family on December 3, 2020

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Join families across the country as they “Dine In” on December 3rd in celebration of home prepared meals. Families that eat together at home not only eat better but they eat more vegetables, enjoy more family conversations, and reduce the risk of substance abuse in teens. To encourage more family meals, the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) is joining forces with the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences in promoting “Dining In for Healthy Families.” Get ideas at FCSDay and sign a pledge to eat together on December 3rd. This year may look a little different – invite family and friends to join you virtually!

The Family and Consumer Sciences profession had its beginning as home economics in 1899 when Ellen Swallow Richards, the first female graduate and faculty member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, blazed a path using scientific knowledge to address the plight of families with regards to water quality, food safety, and the safety of home environments. Today, Extension Family and Consumer Sciences, a part of the Cooperative Extension system, continues to focus on the family and the needs of family members across the lifespan. NEAFCS professionals promote families eating and preparing meals together as a way to improve personal nutrition, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and build strong, resilient families. Visit NEAFCS for more information on Family and Consumer Sciences programs and initiatives.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Looking for a healthy holiday side dish? This take on a traditional Sweet Potato Casserole offers a healthy way to enjoy this holiday classic any time of the year!


4 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)*
½ cup (or 4oz) unsweetened apple sauce
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg


½ cup quick oats
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ tablespoon canola oil


  1. Pierce clean sweet potatoes with a fork and place in a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Microwave on high for 15-18 minutes, or until tender. Flip sweet potatoes halfway through.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Remove sweet potatoes from microwave and carefully cut lengthwise; this will help to cool them faster.
  5. Once the sweet potatoes are able to be held, hold each half and scoop the insides into a mixing bowl, discarding the skins.
  6. Use a potato masher, hand beaters, or a food processor to further mash sweet potatoes.
  7. To the sweet potatoes, add apple sauce, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
  8. Pour mixture into a 9-inch square baking dish.
  9. In a small bowl, mix together quick oats, pecans (optional), brown sugar, cinnamon, and canola oil.
  10. Sprinkle oat mixture evenly on top of the sweet potato mixture.
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  12. Remove pan from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Cut into 9 pieces.*Notes: Canned sweet potatoes: Rinse and drain a 40-oz can of cut sweet potatoes (about 1 pound of sweet potatoes will remain after discarding the liquid.

Written By

Emily Troutman, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionEmily TroutmanExtension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences Call Emily E-mail Emily N.C. Cooperative Extension, Burke County Center
Updated on Dec 1, 2020
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