Rice Pudding - Christmas Around the World Activities for Kids - Sweden

Rice Pudding from Sweden is the fifth activity in our Christmas Around the World for Kids series

I actually introduced rice pudding to my kids several years ago when a homeschool group we did focused on world geography. It's been quite a few years since then, and my kids had forgotten enough that it was still a fun and new activity for them!

Sweden is one of the farthest north countries in the world:

Sweden begins the Christmas season early in December and continues celebrating until St. Knuts Day on January 13th! Many festivities start with Lucia Day on December 13th. For Lucia Day, many churches celebrate with children's choirs and one young girl who represents Lucia by wearing a white dress and a crown with candles on it, symbolizing bringing light into a dark world. She often also carries cookies in processions, representing the 4th century virgin martyr who brought food and help to Christians hiding underground from Romans.

One of the exciting parts of Christmas Eve is the "Julbord," an impressive spread of fantastic meats, cheeses, breads, desserts, and more! Extended family, generations, and friends gather to celebrate and feast.

One very common item on the julbord is the Rice Pudding. It's a simple short-grain rice cooked in milk with cinnamon sticks. You an eat it warm or you can cool it and top it with fruit and whipped cream!  I like it served both ways, and I've read that it might be served warm for Julbord and then leftovers on Christmas Day will be served cool.

My favorite part of the tradition is that one whole almond is mixed into the pot and one "lucky" person will find it in their bowl! Traditionally, that person will find the good luck of getting married during the next year! 

Sweden Activity for Christmas Around the World for Kids:

We made Swedish-ish Rice Pudding and hid an almond for someone to find a lucky "prize" (aka a piece of candy)! You can see my recipe below--I make some changes to the traditional milk and sugar. We enjoyed talking about the Julbord and Saint Lucia while the pudding cooked. It tastes like a desert, so that's doubly fun! We also marked Sweden on our maps and put a "stamp" in our "passports" for making rice pudding!

There are A TON of recipes for Swedish rice pudding online! I'll tell you how I made it below. :) 

We are learning about Christmas around the world this year with 12 different activities--this was the fifth one!  I would LOVE if you joined us!! I will be linking all the activities to THIS PAGE, so you can pick and choose which to do. There's also a link to get the passport that I made there (for free) and a giveaway that will run from December 1st-16th!  And, I'll be linking to a new Christmas Around the World for Kids activity each week day until all 12 are up!

A Swedish-Inspired Rice Pudding Recipe:

** 3/4 cup short-grain rice (don't fill cup entirely full)
** 1-1/4 cup water
** 1/2 teaspoon salt
** 3 cups almond milk
** 1 cinnamon stick
** 1-1/2 tablespoons honey
** 1 tablespoon butter
** powdered cinnamon
** almond

** Notes: Most recipes call for sugar instead of honey, but I don't use refined sugar. If you do, just switch out the honey for sugar. I also use almond milk instead of normal milk, but most recipes call for the more common dairy milk. ;) 

1- Bring the rice, water, and salt to boil in a saucepan.

2- Cover, turn the heat down, and simmer for 10 minutes.

3- Add the milk and cinnamon stick. Stir constantly until it is about to boil.

4- Turn the heat to its lowest setting, cover, and let the rice absorb all the milk. This can take at least 30 minutes.

5- Don't stir the rice. Keep it covered. Don't let it burn! As soon as the milk is absorbed, remove it from the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes.

6- Stir in the honey, butter, and an almond.

Serve it warm with a little cinnamon sprinkled on top, or chill it and serve with fruit and whipped cream. If you hid an almond, make sure it gets served!

And if you're looking for more homeschool unit studies, be sure to check out our growing collection here!

Happy Educating,
Carla & the kids who don't sit still!