Lunchtime at the Aiken County Public Library was free on Wednesday, July 31, for children and their families as part of a special nutrition class.

The class, Share the Color, taught children the importance of eating a variety of (naturally) colored foods, especially fruits and vegetables. 

"Today we had a great opportunity to talk to the kids and their families about healthy eating," said Nicole Moore, an assistant professor at Augusta University and registered nutritionist. "(That's) talking about the five food groups, and the importance of eating the color of the rainbow when eating our food choices in order to get all the nutrients."

Moore said areas like Aiken County have major nutritional issues in some communities, with obstacles such as lack of access to fruits and vegetables – also known as food deserts – presenting a challenge for pediatric health.

"We in the CSRA ... we do have an obesity issue, and that does affect our children, too; so I think it's important to instill healthy eating in our kids as early as possible," Moore said.

Share the Color is a Subway event. Two other classes were held for children in the CSRA throughout the summer. 

"(We came) because we love of the different things the library has to offer," said Carol Bond, who brought her daughter to Share the Color. "... But also because I want to remind them to eat healthy, that it's good to eat healthy, and why that is."

After the class, children were treated to a free lunch. They built their own subs with a meat choice (chicken or ham) and a wide variety of vegetable toppings.

Kristina Rackley is a general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard.