More Cheese Please!

My child loves yellow cheese. Kraft singles, sharp cheddar, or Velveeta, as long as its yellow, it doesn’t matter. Like most toddlers, he tends to be a picky eater. But when I found out how much he loves cheese, I used it as leverage to motivate him to be the balanced eater that I wanted him to be. I literally sprinkle cheese on every item on John’s John plate from to Every vegetable from broccoli to corn. One day he refused to eat his waffle and strawberries but when I asked the baby if he wanted cheese on his waffles and strawberries. He happily responded, “yes please!”. As I stated before, there is no such thing as perfect parenting. Berry Magic by Terri Sloat and Betty Huffmon. Understands the power of food, legacy, and tradition.  

It’s time for the fall festival and every year, the grandmothers prepare the traditional dish Akutaq. Akutaq is a Native Eskimo ice cream type of dish. It includes fish, oil, sugar, and a variety of types of berries. Crowberries used to be the only type of berries that would grow on the tundra and they were dry and bland to taste. The main character, Anana, comes up with a plan to help the old women with their problem and works her magic to fill the fields with tasty, sweet, berries.

Berry Magic by Terry Sloat and Betty Huffmon

 The story reads like a folktale and explains how the beautiful varieties of berries came to grow in the tundra. The illustrations are soft and rich and lend to the sweetness of the tone. So much can be learned about the beauty of Native culture. The story introduces new language words such as “quaspeqs” which is a type of parka; and “pelatuk” which is a type of headscarf. It also reveals the power of song and dance. As Anana dances, her dolls come to life, and berries magically layer the field. This story clearly explains a very rich Native tradition. The story ends with a recipe for Akutaq.

Beyond the story

  1. Make a dish with your young one that’s unique to your culture or another culture . Have your young one identify one ingredient that makes the dish special.
  2. Choose 1 culture and explore that culture’s genre of dance. Have your young notice things like movement, rhythm, and costume. Ask your young one why might this dance be important to the culture?

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