Giant orange bags of candy have been lining the shelves of every store I’ve visited for at least 6 weeks now – Halloween is near! Jack-o-lanterns, costumes, and of course, candy rule the day. While the candy corn, tiny Snickers, and little boxes of gum drops are fun for a day or two, it is a LOT of sugar and unhealthy calories to work your way through. Blogger Mommy Poppins estimated that her daughter received over 7000 calories of Halloween candy – yikes!
Before you just chuck (or eat!) the whole lot, here are 5 better uses for your little monster’s Halloween haul:
- Sell it! Dentists and other business across the country participate in Halloween Candy Buy Backs. In exchange for the candy, your child will receive cash or another creative exchange – bottom line, they won’t be eating all that candy! Call your dentist or enter your zip code here http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/ to find a location nearby.
- Make Blessing Bags for the Homeless. Get quart or gallon sized zipper bags and add some candy and other handy items like a granola bar, or other non-perishable food items, hand warmers, small toiletry items, or socks. Keep a few bags in your car or stroller to hand out to the homeless. Or, find a local shelter to donate to – children in shelters may not have been able to go trick-or-treating or celebrate Halloween. This is great chance to chat with your children about kindness and giving, too.
- Bake it up! With the holidays approaching, chances are you’ll be called on to make a baked good at least once. Buzzfeed has a sugar crash worthy list of 27 recipes – personally, I’m eyeing the Chocolate Kiss Powder Puff Cookies.
- Donate it to our troops. Organizations like Operations Shoebox and Operation Gratitude accept candy donations and send it to US Troops serving overseas.
Embrace the Candy Fairy. This younger sister of the Tooth Fairy and second cousin to the Elf on the Shelf* will take the candy your little leaves out for her. In exchange, she’ll leave them a toy or gift. This new tradition extends the magic of Halloween a bit AND gets the candy out of your kid’s hands. What you do with it from there is up to you!
*Actually, we aren’t privy to the Candy Fairy’s family tree. Poetic license.
Of course, while you CAN do all these other things with leftover Halloween candy, you can always treat yourself a little, too. I’m not saying you should drop a bite-sized Milky Way into your morning coffee, but I’m not saying you shouldn’t, either.