Seas of Snickers, mountains of Milky Ways, and fields of candy corn – a big Halloween Haul is every kid’s dream and every parent’s mini-nightmare.
Of course you’re happy to see the kids happy, but when your mind turns to the upcoming sugar-crashes and potential dentist bills, you start to worry.
So besides candy rationing (which does help), how can you keep the little ghouls and goblins grinning while also keeping them healthy?
Tip 1: Remake!
Time to become Dr. Frankenstein and turn some of that candy into new treats. Hard candies get ground up for sugar cookie toppings, individual chocolates or broken up bars become trail mix add-ons, ground up candies can become ice cream toppings, caramels become caramel apples – the possibilities are endless!
You may need to coax the kiddos a bit to get them to realize that this is a great way to make their candy last longer and (in the end) get more treats out of it. What it means for you, though, is that you get to better control their sugar intake over the long term.
Tip 2: Decorate!
There’s a lot of candy that will only get eaten because it’s there – I’m looking at you candy corn. The kids will eventually eat almost every sweet, but it’s not like they love them all.
So pull out those unloved candies and save them for decorating this holiday’s gingerbread houses and gingerbread men! You can also use it for Thanksgiving decorations, like these pine cone turkeys!
Tip 3: Calendar!
Advent calendars are fun for the kids and a great way to count off the days until Christmas, so why not make a Thanksgiving “Advent” calendar using Halloween candy? This simple craft from Brenda Ponnay is a great way to spread out the candy and to have fun with your kids.
Tip 4: Donate!
If the pumpkin bucket is just overflowing with candy from a super successful night, you can always donate it to the Halloween Candy Buyback program. This organization collects excess candy through participating dentist offices and sends it off to our troops. The kids also get prizes for bringing in their sweets, so it’s a good deal all around!
You can check here to see if there’s a Buyback in your area here. If there isn’t, you could contact local homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, and children hospitals to see if they’re taking donations.
Thanks to all these great sources for the tips: Frugal Foodie at MintLife Blog, Jeanette Pavini at Huffpost Taste, rshape7 at Instructables, Sommy Rhee at Red Tricycle, Brenda Ponnay at Alpha Mom, and Rachel at Surviving Stores.