What to do with all that Halloween Candy?

What to do with all that Halloween Candy?

Halloween has come & gone but we have so much candy in this house! Besides the pillow cases full of candy the kids have from trick or treating, we bought way too much candy to give out. <note to self: don't buy the good stuff to hand out, buy candy that i don't like & won't eat>  

I have no issues with halloween being a binge day but I hate managing all the sugar for days, weeks and even months after halloween. I dread having it in the house day after day and find myself eating a little here and there just because it is in the house. Here are some ideas to get rid of all that extra halloween candy:

Make Math Fun

Candies come in many colors and shapes making great math manipulatives 
• practice addition, subtraction, counting by fives, etc.
• chocolate bars are great for fractions
• sort candy and figure out statistics
• figure out much sugar your kids collected
• total calories in each halloween sack

Operation Gratitude
Operation Gratitude sends more than 100,000 care packages annually to U.S. troops stationed in overseas and to their children left behind, as well as veterans. The organization's mission is simple: to put a smile on soldiers' faces. Here's how it works: dentists accept candy in exchange for toothbrushes, coupons and sometimes cash,  then send it to operation gratitude, which distributes it to military bases. Visit halloweencandybuyback.com and enter your zip code to find a participating dentist near you. It is suggested you call ahead as many dentist have certain buy back rules, like maximum amount of candy or drop-off hours, etc.  

Craft Project
Get creative with those leftovers that no one wants to eat! You could also save leftover candy for an advent calendar. Small size bars are perfect for daily treats.    

Reverse Trick-or-Treating
Extend the excitement of halloween and let your kids get involved in a little service within your community at the same time. Let the kids wear their costumes and take extra candy to a local charity or senior center for an evening of reverse trick-or-treating. You will feel great sweetening someone else's day and kids learn it is more than "give me, give me, give me."

Thanksgiving Treats
Using halloween candy for thanksgiving treats is the best. Candy corn works great as tail feathers for turkey cookies or cupcakes. 

Save for your holiday gingerbread house
Halloween candy is perfect for decorating your gingerbread house next month. Dum Dum suckers, skittles, nerds, lifesavers, starbursts, m&ms, tootsie rolls, candy corn, and milk duds are some of our favorites. Don't want to wait until christmas to build a gingerbread house? Make a halloween house or build a candy city letting the imagination go wild!

Science Experiments
Did you know that you can paint with skittles? Blow up balloons with pop rocks? Wint-o-Green lifesavers glow in the dark?
science20.com has some great suggestions in Top 10 Scientific Uses for Leftover Halloween Candy

Make it Healthier! 
• homemade trail mix: m&m’s, reese’s pieces or other candy with pretzels, raisins, nuts and dried fruit
• celery stalks with peanut butter or nutella, then top with your favorite bite-sized candy
• make chocolate and fruit kabobs on a stick
• add tiny pieces of candy bar to sweet sprouts nutrition shake or use as topping for yogurt
• cut apples in thin slices and cover with chocolate or caramel, then sprinkle pieces of candy
• make granola bars adding small pieces of candy

Use for a party or upcoming gathering
Halloween is the perfect time to stock up on the candy you’ll be looking for when that next birthday party comes up. You can stuff a piñata, make favor bags, decorate cupcakes, use it for bingo or other party games.

Ronald McDonald house charities
The Ronald McDonald house helps keep severely ill kids and their parents together during treatment. They offer a family room so parents can stay with their child in the hospital but can step away briefly for rest and comfort.  After Halloween, most locations accept donations of unopened candy for the families being served. You can search for your local chapter on the rmhc.org and it is always best to call ahead to find out the rules for dropping off candy.

Make a new recipe using candy
There are so many recipes that use candy in them. Explore with variations using your halloween candy. Some ideas are bark, trifle and our favorite is the candy bar apple salad. Visit tasteofhome and cookingchanneltv for more recipes.

The Switch Witch
Finally, if you want to get the candy out of the house as soon as possible invite the switch witch over! The basic idea is that the switch witch (mom and dad) switches out kids’ candy for a special gift. Then parents can donate the candy to one of the great organizations listed above. More info on the switch witch: switch-witch.com/legend-of-switch-witch/

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