A Guide to Feeding Academic Children

The sight of inebriated freshers carousing in the streets at 10am, the smell of alcohol and cigarettes, and the noise of drunken banter on Raisin Sunday create a vast blur of messy fun and chaos. Amongst all the disorder, it is important to keep your kids well fed and hydrated. Parents, forget table manners and health foods, and give your kids all the junk food they can eat! Here are some tips on feeding your youngsters: 

Start your children’s day with a nutritious bowl of Coco-Puffs and Baileys, followed by a mug of black coffee and Sambuca. The sugar, alcohol, and caffeine are sure to have them bouncing off the walls in no time.  But to keep them from crashing too soon, prepare a side of scrambled eggs on toast. For lunch and dinner, make something more substantial. Anything from hamburgers to frozen pizza will do—just make sure you have plenty! 

Turn snack-time into playtime! Hang doughnuts from a tree or clothesline, and have your kids eat them – no hands allowed! Worms In Dirt are a kid favorite – arrange crushed Oreos and gummy worms in a plastic cup, and let them 'dig in'! Give your children a sense of responsibility by making them care for a personalised egg. If it remains intact, they can either cook it that night or save it for sentimental value. 

Fun and games aside, no one wants their children to forget their first Raisin, or worse, become sick or land in the hospital. So remember to feed them well and your Raisin party will be a success!

Below is a chili recipe adapted from Jacques Pépin’s Essential Pépin. This delicious booze-mop is best prepared at least one day ahead.

Fiery Chili with Red Beans:
Serves 8-10

1 kilo dried red kidney beans
1 tablespoon salt
1 kilo ground beef
200g bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
2 large onions, finely diced
8 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
2 tablesoons chopped jalepenos (more or less to taste)
800g canned whole tomatoes
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
¼ cup chili powder


Combine the beans with 3 litres cold water and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a large pot and bring to a boil. Skim off the foam, cover, reduce the heat, and cook gently for about 1 ½ hours, until the beans are tender but still firm. Set the beans aside in their liquid.

Cook the pieces of bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until most of the fat has been rendered and the bacon is brown. Add the onions and beef and cook, stirring, for a few minutes, until the meat loses its red colour. Stir in the garlic, jalapeno pepper, and tomatoes.

Using a mini-chop or coffee grinder, process the coriander seeds to a powder. Add to the sauce-pan, along with the cumin, mustard, hot pepper flakes, chili powder and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and bring the mixture to a boil.

Add the beef mixture to the beans (and their liquid) and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour; the mixture will be soupy.

Serve with cheddar cheese and Tabasco on rice or in taco shells.

Images courtesy of Courtney Evans, T.J. Bissonnette, Waferboard, Lucy Thomas, and Genevieve Gralton