Money Smart Nutrition at Loaves & Fishes

The annual “Money Smart Week” is a national public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their finances.

Multiple free financial literacy courses are offered locally as part of the event, including a presentation at Loaves and Fishes called “Money Smart Nutrition.”

It features local nutritionist Cheryl Reining, who saves over $40 a week while grocery shopping. During those experiences she’s developed strategies to a nutritionally and economically smart lifestyle.

“It is normal cooking to me now,” said Reining. “I was a single parent until my daughter was 17. I had to learn how to budget and one of the things I realized was that I could not only take out more food but better food.”

Reining will work with Loaves & Fishes through Benedictine University to help line their shelves with healthier food items.

“Nutrition is such an important part of the though process here,” said Jane Macdonald, Program Director of Loaves & Fishes. “We are feeding a lot of people, but we want to do it well.”

After experiencing multiple “Money Smart Week” events, Naperville resident Jason Robinson says Loaves & Fishes “Money Smart Nutrition” was different than the rest

“Most of them were about financial literacy so this one was also how you can see money and help your body out as well,” said Robinson.

Some of Reining’s tips to a healthy, yet budgeted diet include making your own salad dressing, sneaking vegetables into desserts, eating breakfast for dinner, and planning meals to what is on sale.

“I plan my meals to what’s around the meat that is on sale,” said Reining.
Many blame cheap, unhealthy foods for the increase in worldwide obesity. Unlike many, Reining manages to eat cheaply without rolling through the drive through.

“Yeah we don’t really do fast food places in my family,” said Reining. “We purchase only the healthy foods. Even when we get the burger we don’t get the sauces and cheese.”

Reining also recommends that families cook meals together. This can be a healthy, bonding exercise that keeps her dinner table full of more than just healthy food.

“When a family eats together it causes the children to not want to be somewhere else. It makes them want to be together more.”

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