I think we all can identify with our children. The thrill of running from house to house trying accumulate the most Halloween candy possible before trick or treat time ended. And then dumping out that incredibly heavy bag (pillowcase in my day) to admire our accomplishment! Whatever happened to that candy? My parents certainly didn’t let me eat it all the candy and after eating some for a few days I don’t even remember it disappearing!
It’s a good thing because as a parent I realize the excitement of Halloween is many things, like costumes, parties and the game of getting the candy. But eating every single piece of candy doesn’t make the experience any better!
So, in our house, after the kids enjoy occasional treats from their loot bags for a few days, we leave our candy out for the “Candy Fairy” who exchanges it for a toy or book. This obviously won’t work for older kids but I have heard of similar strategies where you eliminate the middleman (fairy) and just exchange the candy for a toy or money (some people even do something like a certain amount of money per pound of candy exchanged!).
But what should all of us parents do with all of that leftover Halloween candy? My level of will power with chocolate is close to non-existent so hiding it from the kids would just lead it straight to my mouth (not the best solution). And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone on this lack of will power when it comes to candy!
Solution #1: Donate the Left Over Halloween
Candy Organizations such as Operation Gratitude and Operation Shoebox (and some local schools) accept wrapped candy to include in care packages they send to US troops. Other organizations that often appreciate candy donations include nursing homes, shelters, and food banks. Just call ahead to make sure they need it. This is also a nice way to encourage generosity in your kids by sharing their hard-earned candy with those in need.
Solution #2: Give the Left Over Halloween Candy to Your Dentist
Many dentists do a “Candy Buy Back” where they will give your kids a little something in return for them turning in their candy. The dentist will then usually donate the candy.
Solution #3: Freeze the Left Over Halloween Candy
This is the riskiest solution, especially if you are like me, because the candy remains in the house (although it is harder to get to if you stick it way in the back under other food items). You can then pull out the candy to use in one of the million candy dessert recipes available on the internet when needed. Or have an ice cream sundae party with candy toppings; chop and mix with nuts and fruit for a somewhat healthy homemade trail mix; include in care packages or presents. The list is endless!
These are my top three solutions to candy leftovers. Any other great ideas out there? Please share!