Farm to Table Program at Bright Horizons

We were so excited to learn about the unique farm to table program that is being instilled locally at Bright Horizons as part of their early education curriculum! 

At Bright Horizons, the “Well Aware” curriculum is used to foster positive attitudes toward healthy living, physical activity, and nutrition through appropriate experiences that incorporate healthful habits into daily routines. The American Center in Madison has created the GardenWorks Curriculum to teach the children how to plant and maintain a garden AND use the produce to promote health eating!

unnamed-2With eleven outdoor garden plots and two indoor garden towers, the American Center Garden is growing cucumbers, tomatoes, various leafy greens, basil, chives, squash, beans, strawberries. And through the GardenWorks Program, healthy eating can be incorporated at each age level. Infants can learn through sensory activities such as the use of seed science bottles, exploration of plants brought into the classroom, and the use gardening tools and dirt at sensory table. As interest levels allow, toddlers help to weed garden plots, plant seeds and water the garden. For age level two and older, the children help in decision making for what to grow and where to plant. Through kindergarten, students help to prepare classrooms, replant tower gardens, start seedlings, and harvest.

Reconnecting our children to food’s origins can build their conceptual understanding of food sources, while also providing an opportunity to form healthy eating habits and learn about the environmental implications of growing organically or transporting food long distances.


How to Teach Kids about Our Food Sources

  • Plant your own vegetable garden. A vegetable or edible garden can be as small or large as you would like or your space accommodates. Even having one cherry tomato plant in a container on your porch or patio gives your child a chance to experience the growing and harvesting cycle of local foods.
  • Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group. Many farms now offer locally grown, often organic, foods by subscription. A family purchases a “share” of a local farm and receives a bag, box or credit towards fresh fruits and veggies that they pick up each week. Learning about all sorts of vegetables and food sources can also be easier to get kids to try new foods.
  • Consider eating one “seasonal” meal each week. This would mean only using fruits and vegetables that are in season, not grown in different climates and shipped from far away.
  • Visit the local farmers market with your children. While your children probably won’t get to see where the actual food is grown, they will typically see unpackaged foods and some foods and vegetables they are unfamiliar with.

Want to learn more? Check out their Open House event – July 25-29th – and meet their energetic, experienced and professional teaching team, see their curriculum in action, learn more about their programs and the registration process and secure your space for the fall. Enrollment spaces are limited!

And on Wednesday, August 3rd at 11 AM there will be a Bright Horizons Farm to Table family picnic for children and families with food prepared from the center’s gardens and the CSA share with Luna Circle Organic Farm. You can also enjoy live music from one of our favorite children’s entertainers, Dave Landau. For more information on the event, please contact the Bright Horizons American Center in Madison at 608-825-6009 or

Madison is such a cool city. We love it around here. We live here too and our vision is to create a platform where real parents share real stories and we can all learn from one another. You will get to know real moms doing life right here in our neighborhoods and find information on a wealth of topics – local summer camps, preschools, swim lessons, shops and boutiques, events and experiences as so much more.


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