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What to do With All That Halloween Candy?

Halloween Parenting

The carefully selected costumes, the carved pumpkins and the treats made and bought - and now it's all over! Halloween came and went and no doubt it left you with more candy than you know what to do with in your house. I tend to always buy too much too begin with (I'd hate to run out) but then your child came home with his loot and now you have a candy mountain. So here are some tips on how to deal with all this candy! Some families decide to let their kids eat as much as they want on Halloween night, and then throw out the rest. But if you feel that's a bit wasteful, or you don't want to promote binge eating, there are some other solutions:

1. Sort it

To start, sort through the candy and only keep the ones your child and/or family actually like and would eat. 

2. Give it away

Donate candy no one likes, or ones you got way too many of (suckers, rockets and tootsie rolls in our house) to the food shelter. If your child is home fairly early, you can even recycle the no-keepers to the trick or treaters still coming to your house. You can also contact organizations that send care-packages to our troops overseas. Try Military Christian Fellowship.

3. Save it
Stash your keepers to use for treats for the next few months. Anytime you have a special occasion or need a treat, you'll have some on hand. Most candy will keep for a long time, and you can freeze some too. Then you can take it out as needed to add when baking cakes or cookies or adding as extra treats to ice cream or milk shakes.

4. Re-use it

Use the mini bags of M&Ms or Smarties to your homemade trail mix. Just add it to your favourite cereals, pretzels, dried fruit and nuts.

5. Make an advent calendar

Why not use some of the treats as the prize in an advent calendar? There are lots of fun ideas for homemade advent calendars, like this one using paper bags and clothespins.

6. Buy it

If your concern is having your child eat it period, regardless how long it takes and you just want it out of the house, try offering your child a buy-out. How this works is you offer to pay your child a certain amount either per candy or per pound of candy. They can then use that money on something special they would like. Or trade the candy in for coupons to different activities they enjoy, like a trip to the movie theatre, or science centre or any other fun activity. 

7. Turn it into a science experiment
Check out science20.com for some fun science experiments using Halloween candy.

8. Use it for holiday decorations

Save some select candy to use for decorating your gingerbread house, or making fun Christmas wreaths or Christmas crackers!
9. Use it for a birthday party
If you have an upcoming birthday party, use some of the candy to stuff a pinata or as part of the guest's goodie bags.

10. Make a care package

Have a grandparent or other relative your child doesn't get to see very often? Why not help them wrap some candy up in a care package and send it? 


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