Halloween can leave you with an abundance of candy. You probably bought the types you like, but even if you like the candy you bought, how much did you eat before Halloween? What about all the treats the kids bring home? And how many days are there before you’re surrounded by irresistible Christmas foods? Get the candy out of reach so you and your family aren’t tempted to eat every last piece.
Freeze chocolate to eat it later. You can store candies in an airtight container and use them in your homemade snack mixes, baking (cupcakes brownies, cookies) or crush chocolate candy bars and add to pudding, oatmeal, shakes or roll onto chocolate-covered pretzels. Head to your local library and borrow “The Candy Bar Cookbook” by Alison Inches and Ric McKown (Longstreet Press, 2006). It contains more than 60 recipes using popular candy bars.
Instead of letting kids have all of the candy at once, put some aside. Let them use them as tokens or candy currency to redeem for skipped chores. For example, five pieces can be traded instead of doing dishes. Put some into a movie-night jar and reward them for good behavior by watching a movie and letting them have some candy while they watch it. Or start a new tradition where Halloween candy from trick-or-treating is left on a kitchen table or outside a bedroom or exterior door and a hungry goblin, caring fairy or switch witch replaces it with a gift.
With the upcoming holidays, make candy crafts. Create a fun pinata for the kids or keep some for stocking stuffers. Make candy wreaths, garlands or necklaces. Use some leftover candy on a gingerbread house or in an advent calendar.
Add some to gifts or make a candy bouquet by hot gluing candy onto bamboo skewers. Add some curling ribbon to hide the skewer. Then add some foam to the bottom of a clay pot. Finally, insert the skewer candy flowers into the pot. For more creative ways to use candy, look for the book “Candy Construction: How to Build Race Cars, Castles, and Other Cool Stuff out of Store-Bought Candy” by Sharon Bowers (Storey Publishing, LLC, 2010).
Bring a jar, bowl or individual goodie bags of candy to share with your co-workers. Keep a few at your desk or in your car, too.
Ask around to see whether anyone accepts candy as a donation. Call places such as shelters, nursing homes, food pantries or doctor’s offices. Some dentists offer a Cash for Candy program. They send the candy to the troops. If you’re a dentist and would like to get involved, visit www.halloweencandybuyback.com for details. Or send your candy directly to the troops in a care package. Visit www.opgratitude.com for more information.
Save some for your kids to give to their friends. Add a piece here and there in their lunch box or save some for party treats. Or when their friends come over, have some fun with candy science experiments.Visit www.candyexperiments.com or www.science20.com/science_mom/top_10_scientific_uses_for_leftover_halloween_candy for ideas such as acid tests and soaking, microwaving or dissolving candy.