When I was six, my friend and I were left unsupervised in the next room after we went trick-or-treating and we ate EVERY. SINGLE. PIECE. of our Halloween candy that night. (My mom had four kids, I now have three that I can barely keep track of, so no judgments here.)
I'm here to tell you that while eating all of that Halloween candy is definitely an option, I don't recommend it. Instead, set a limit with your kids, decide how much to keep, let them pick out their favorites and then get rid of the leftovers in one of these ways that I promise will make you feel so much better than I did that fateful night of ‘82:
Get a Switch Witch (or create your own) and convince your kids to leave their candy for the witch to take while they sleep in exchange for a surprise gift when they wake up—like an electric toothbrush! (Is that mean?)
Bake with it.
From Candy Corn Biscotti to Candy Bar Croissants, there are all kinds of recipes out there featuring leftover Halloween candy as the main ingredient. Personally, I’m adding Twix & Banana Muffins to my next brunch menu.
Cha-ching! There’s two money-making options here:
1. Your kids can earn $1/lb. (up to $5) for turning in their candy at Prairie Pediatric Dentistry (15230 W. 87th Street Parkway, Lenexa, KS 66219) to support Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages to our troops. All participants will enter to win a $50 Power Play gift card. You gotta hurry on this deal because it’s only good through Nov. 2, 7:30am-4:30pm. For more info, call 913-586-0770.
2. The Learning Tree (Corinth Square and Park Place locations) is also accepting candy from now through Nov. 5 to send to our troops. They’ll give you a $5 coupon to spend in store if you bring them one pound or more of your candy.
Have a niece or nephew with a birthday coming up? Buy them a piñata and fill it with all your leftover candy. You’ll be the hit of their party. Or tape candy all over the next few birthday presents you give to up the fun factor for the birthday boy or girl.
Bag your candy in smaller Ziplock bags and find a food pantry, Ronald McDonald House, homeless shelter and/or and nursing home near you to drop them off. Make it extra meaningful and have your children create cards or write letters to stick inside the bags with the candy.
Experiment with it.
Science Experiments with candy? If someone had introduced me to this as a child I just might have become a chemist. There’s still hope for your kids. Check out these fun experiments here, here and here.
The holidays are just around the corner so save some of the candy to use in your holiday countdown, stockings, St. Nick shoes, etc. All this leftover candy is also a great excuse to throw a Gingerbread house-building party. Actually, that sounds like a lot of work and unnecessary stress around the holidays, so scratch that idea. Eating all the candy now would be less painful.