Leftover Halloween candy – it's inevitable. Each year, millions of children go trick-or-treating and bring home huge piles of candy. They pick through the candy that they want and the rest ends up sitting around until parents get tired of looking at it and throw it away. But there are other options that keep all that candy from going to waste, or ending up on Mom's hips or Dad's spare tire. Here are 10 things you can with all that leftover Halloween candy.
It's great that all the baking holidays come after Halloween, because it means that leftover candy can be used in those recipes, which gets the baking done and gets rid of the candy. There are numerous recipes available with a simple internet search that use up leftover Halloween candy. M&Ms can be used in cookies instead of chocolate chips, mini candy bars can be used in cakes and pies, and even hard candy can be used in some recipes.
There are several charitable organizations that will accept leftover Halloween candy, box it up and send it to military men and women stationed overseas. One such organization is Operation Gratitude. They work in conjunction with the Halloween Candy Buyback program. Buyback events are organized by doctors or dentists or other community members, or if parents have a lot of candy left they can send it on their own, and then all the candy collected is sent overseas by Operation Gratitude. This way the candy isn't being eaten by the kids and our service men and women get a treat for the hard work they do. It's a win-win for everyone.
Again, it's good that Halloween comes just before the holiday season. Leftover Halloween candy can be used in a variety of crafts, from holiday wreaths to flower arrangements to decorating gingerbread houses. Remember decorating the tree with gum drops and popcorn? A simple internet search will turn up dozens of craft ideas that can use up leftover candy. So not only does the candy go, but parents and kids can spend some quality time together getting into the holiday spirit.
Leftover candy can be frozen and blended into milkshakes and smoothies for a sweet, and somewhat healthier treat all year long. How about a chocolate peppermint shake or a caramel apple shake? Whatever the combo, try and make it healthier by throwing in some fruit. The candy will be gone in no time and the kids will think they got a special treat.
Okay, this one is for the adults only. A simple internet search will turn up results for candy vodka, but plain white rum will work as well. The only thing to remember with the rum is that it is made from sugar so it is going to be sweeter than vodka, so adjust the amount of candy accordingly. Any sort of sugar based candy will work. Chocolate candies don't work as well. Just add about a cup of candy to a pint jar full of liquor. When it dissolves (in about 2 days) put it in a bottle with a pretty label and give it out to friends for Christmas.
It seems that the Christmas season starts earlier and earlier each year, but advent calendars still only start on the first of December. So a great way to use up the left over Halloween candy is to make November advent calendars. Small cups can be filled with candies and marked with the date to add to the excitement of the coming holiday season. These can even be made up and given to friends because even adults like to get into the holiday spirit.
It's not unheard of to keep giving candy out past Halloween. In fact, many parents set aside the kids favorites and pack the rest off to the office to share with childless co-workers. But if parents don't have an office where they can unload the sugar bomb, don't worry. Candy can also be packaged into colorful cellophane bags and handed out at nursing homes or veteran's centers. This can bring a smile to the face of both the giver and receiver and teach children valuable lessons about giving rather than receiving.
Candy can replace lost game pieces in a variety of board games. How about a fun game of checkers or… Candyland? Candy can also be used when playing a fun game of poker instead of poker chips and no one is out any money. Plus parents and kids have spent some quality time together which is always a good thing.
There are a number of ways in which candy can be used as a learning aid. From counting to science, a simple internet search will turn up dozens of ways in which candy can be used to help children learn. So not only will they have fun, but they will be expanding their minds as well.
Perhaps the simplest thing to do is save the candy. Candy can be stored in the freezer and used throughout the year for filling birthday piñatas, giving out for various holidays or handing out again next Halloween. Not only will this get rid of the candy eventually, it will save money since the candy is already on hand.
Whatever parents decide to do with all the leftover Halloween candy, what's important is that the kids have fun and they aren't eating copious amounts of sugar for days upon end, rotting their teeth and causing stomach upset. So enjoy dressing up and getting the candy, and rest assured that there are ways to dispose of it afterward.