We love Halloween at our house. The kids are adorable in their costumes, neighbors open their doors to one another, and the kids come home with treats that we wouldn’t normally buy. I like a piece now and then, but we really don’t need ten pounds of Halloween candy laying around for the next six months. Am I right? So what do you do with all that candy after they’ve had their sugar-crazed fill, and you’ve taken advantage of the “parent tax?” Here are five great uses for that leftover Halloween candy, some of which even allow you to give back in meaningful ways.
A lot of the candy freezes really well and keeps it fresh for months. I fill a gallon-size bag with candy to pull out throughout the year for our kids’ treats, or chop up and bake in cookies, use it for parties, or even just as a late-night, bite-sized treat. Who doesn’t love the crunch of frozen, chocolate-covered nougat or caramel?
Sell to a Local Dentist
Many dentists around the area buy back candy from local kids November 1-10th to help prevent tooth decay. Ask if your dentist offers a similar program, and if not, here are some dentists around town that offer cash or prizes in exchange for your littles’ candy stash:
- Aspire Dental
- Hollywood Children’s Dentistry
- Gentech Dentist
- Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
- World of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
Decorate Gingerbread Houses and Cookies
We love making gingerbread houses and Christmas cookies during the holidays, and it’s great to have extra candy options to use in the process. The kids can be creative with their candy while creating their winter masterpieces!
Pack Care Kits with a Treat
Handing out care kits to people in need is a great family activity this time of year. It helps my kids to see a need and to fill it in a small way. Socks, toothbrushes, and warm gloves are always needed, but adding a sweet treat to the bag makes it even more special. Want to know all about care kits? Here are some tips on how to pack and hand them out this year from the Portland Rescue Mission.
There are plenty of people who may not have the chance to go trick-or-treating, and would love to have some of our Halloween candy. Here are a few, small opportunities to bless some worthy men and women or families in need with a sweet treat:
- Operation Gratitude sends candy to deployed troops and first responders serving our country.
- Soldiers’ Angels also sends candy to our troops. You can drop off your donations at Hollywood Children’s Dentistry. Check the link for drop-off times and days.
- The Ronald McDonald House is special to our family as we’ve stayed there before and after my daughter was born. It was a long and traumatic five weeks. They help keep severely ill kids and their parents together during treatment. Most locations accept donations of unopened candy to give to the families staying there. You can search for a local chapter and call before dropping off.
If you find yourself with too much candy and too much crazy from Halloween this year, I hope you’ll find these suggestions helpful. Here are some other great ideas for ways to use your leftover candy.