What to do with all that candy?
With the fall, and especially approaching late October, we enter the sweets season, starting with Halloween all through to Hannukah and the Christmas holidays, and we can’t forget New Year’s. It is no easy feat to keep your kids away from all that sugar, and if you are anything like me, I do my best to avoid an overload of chocolate and the low-nutrient, high-sugar snacks we see during this time of year.
So how do we convince our kids not to eat this addicting, no nutritional benefit snacks? It is tricky, and there is no right or wrong way of doing things that work for your family.
Trick-or-treating is undoubtedly one of the most exciting activities for kids on Halloween. However, as parents, we always aim to balance their enjoyment with good nutrition. Fret not if you find yourself with a mountain of candy and chocolate bars after their trick-or-treating adventure! I’ve got you covered with my top 5 clever ways to use up and eliminate all that sugary indulgence.
- The switch-which.
- Donate along with other non-perishable food items to local food banks.
- Make baked goods like these leftover Halloween cookie dough.
- Enjoy some and share the rest outside the home.
- Freeze and use throughout the year.
#1 The Switch-Witch
If you haven’t heard of the switch-witch, it’s a brilliant idea to avoid your kids getting hyped on candy for the next month! If you will, a barter for Halloween candy to be replaced with a gift.
A great concept if your kids have food sensitivities or allergies or want to avoid the high levels of sugar content and keep a healthy gut, this is a great option.
The switch would replace the candy with a small gift the child is interested in. For example, a toy car, book, or doll. It doesn’t have to be a large gift, just something they exchanged their hard-earned candy for.
Alternatively, you can offer a weekend activity like a movie day, museum visit, or aquarium excursion. This way, kids can still enjoy the excitement of trick-or-treating but also receive a valuable reward they will cherish.
#2 Donate the candy to a local food bank
During this time of year, it becomes more evident that many people need financial help and rely heavily on food banks.
Contribute to your community by donating your Halloween candy and other non-perishable items to a food drive. This can be a great activity for your kids to participate in and teach them about the importance of doing good deeds and helping those less fortunate.
By giving back to the community, you help your kids become more well-rounded individuals who understand the value of helping others. This is one of my favorite ways to rid the excess candy and teach kids an important lesson about giving.
#3 Use the chocolate bars and candy for baked goods
Kids love participating in the kitchen and helping, especially concerning a decadent cookie recipe.
Baking cookies, brownies, and cakes is a great activity to do with your kids in the kitchen. It’s something that my kids always get excited about. You can try making delicious cookies with chocolate chunks from mini chocolate bars, which is always a hit.
We like to add a healthy spin to our cookies, so be sure to check out this recipe: Leftover Halloween cookie dough or leftover Halloween cookie bars.
This activity will build memories and likely become a post-Halloween tradition.
#4 Enjoy some treats and share the rest
Completely denying your kids candy may not be the best solution for your family, especially if you have older kids. A different approach may be to find a balance through compromise. You can allow your children to choose their favorite ten or so candies or bars and enjoy them over a period. The rest of the candy can be shared with friends and family outside the home, like at a parent’s workplace.
We teach our kids to indulge in moderation and maintain balance in our house. We followed this principle during Halloween, and surprisingly, our children, aged 5, 3, and 3, were content with the group decision. We saved some candies to bake delicious treats, while the rest was sent to their dad’s workplace.
#5 Freeze and use throughout the year
Candy and chocolate bars usually have a long shelf life, but freezing is a good option if you want to keep them fresh past the best-before date. To freeze them, place the candy in a large freezer-safe bag and store it in the freezer. This way, you can use them later over the year and have enough time to decide what to do with them.
Please note that when you unwrap the frozen chocolate bar, there may be some discoloration, but it is still safe to eat.
I hope the five ideas mentioned above have inspired you to start new traditions and change how your family manages the abundance of candy and chocolate that enters your home during Halloween or any other occasion. These tips can also be helpful during other holidays, such as Easter and Hannukah when there’s an excess of chocolates.
Do you have a creative way to use up Halloween candy? Please share in the comments below. I would love to hear your unique ideas for the candy stockpile.