My kids love to go trick-or-treating just like other kids. However, the sugar high resulting from the mountain of Halloween candy my children bring home can be a nightmare. Since my kids eat a healthy diet 90% of the time, I certainly don’t mind them indulging a bit. However, they absolutely do not need to eat every last piece of candy they bring home. So over the years I have come up with a few creative ways to get rid of leftover Halloween candy.
Before I get to that though, I should mention that I let the kids pick out about 30 pieces of their favorite candy to keep. They are allowed 2 pieces a day until it’s gone, provided they eat the healthy dinner I made. That way I don’t have to deal with sugar overload, but they don’t feel deprived and curse the fact that their mom is a dietitian.
I know that right about now many parents are facing candy overload. So here are a few ideas for how to deal with leftover Halloween candy.
- Allow your children the option of trading in their candy for small toys or stickers from the dollar store. Set a “price” for each item in pieces of candy. For example your child can “buy” a sheet of stickers for 10 pieces of candy. You could also let them exchange the whole pile of candy for something a little bit bigger like a toy they have been wanting.
- Participate in the Halloween Candy Buy Back. Participating dentists purchase Halloween candy from children for $1 a pound and then send it to soldiers stationed overseas. This would be a nice way to bring a bit of joy to a soldier serving our country.
- You can also send it to troops overseas through Operation Shoebox. (Non-melting candy only)
- Donate it to a local homeless shelter, Red Cross emergency shelter, women’s shelter, or nursing home. Some may accept candy for their staff, or to pass out to their residents. Be sure to call first to check. This could be a great way to encourage your children to think of others.
- Send your leftover Halloween candy in to your child’s class or bus driver for their reward jar. While I don’t agree with the policy, my children’s school teachers and bus driver all think candy makes a great reward for good behavior. By donating leftover Halloween candy to their classroom, at least it saves the teacher from having to buy it out of their own pocket.
- Encourage creativity in your kids and use the leftover Halloween candy for crafts. Allow the kids to create mosaics from the non-melting candy. Provide a few basic craft supplies and some glue then let your kids go nuts.
- Save the leftover Halloween candy for making a gingerbread house for Christmas. Our family makes a gingerbread house in early December each year, using Halloween candies for decoration. Our gingerbread house each year is just for decoration. Quite frankly, after it has been sitting out for a few weeks gathering dust, no one thinks of eating it. You could make several gingerbread houses and use them for gifts.
- Use it to decorate Christmas cookies that you give out to neighbors and friends.
- Send it into the office with a parent. It will disappear quickly!
- Turn the leftover candy into an educational experience for your kids. Visit Candy Experiments or see the accompanying book for all sorts of fun ways to turn the leftovers into a learning experience for your kids.
I received a copy of the book Candy Experiments to review. (Actually I received it last Halloween, but then I ruptured a disc in my lower back. The pain medicine made my brain foggy which caused a hiatus in blogging for a bit. So I didn’t get to share this with you last year, unfortunately. Better late than never!)
Candy Experiments is a clever book by Loralee Leavitt, filled with 70 science experiments to try with your kids.
Some of the fun things your kids will discover in Candy Experiments:
- What makes Pop Rocks pop?
- How to make rock candy.
- How to make a gummi worm grow.
- How to magically make the center of a Junior Mint disappear.
- How to crack a Skittles open like a clamshell.
- How to make a candy cane bendy.
- and more
My kids’ favorite experiment by far was making rock candy. Not surprising, since they all have a sweet tooth! My two youngest daughters love science, so they had a lot of fun working through the experiments in this book. Candy Experiments is a great way to make learning fun and get your kids to willingly hand over some of their Halloween candy stockpile. I highly recommend adding this book to your child’s learning library.
So tell me… How do you deal with all the leftover Halloween candy?