So, it’s the day after Halloween in Champaign-Urbana. And you’re wondering — what do we do with all that candy? We looked around for some creative ideas on how to manage the sack of sugar our kids collect on Halloween night. Of course, there is the fun of letting the kids eat it; I’m not here to say that the kids shouldn’t be able to indulge a little bit. But often there is way too much brought home; and not everyone likes every candy (my least favorite? Baby Ruth).
Here are some of the best ideas we’ve found for getting rid of or creatively using that Halloween candy collection:
– Freeze it. This is a great way to get good mileage out of Halloween candy — your kids will get a kick out of eating it much later on. After you pick out all the hard candies you don’t want your little ones to have, throw them in the freezer for up to one year. Too much chocolate? Freeze it. Jelly beans? Yep, those go in the freezer too. For a guide to candies and their freeze time, click here.
– Bake with it. This is a second way to get mileage from freezing it – you can always use those M&Ms or Snickers in your holiday baking projects. We can vouch for the deliciousness and ease of this Leftover Candy Cookie Cake.
– Save it for Gingerbread houses. We have 100% pulled candy aside for future Gingerbread house projects. No shame. Speaking of the holidays …
– Share it. You know their favorites — maybe grandma loves Hershey bars or Tootsie rolls, and grandpa enjoys Skittles and Laffy Taffy. Have the kids sort out their loved ones’ favorites; send it or deliver it to them. Or take it to a local nursing home or hospital.
– Call on “The Switch Witch.” We saw this idea mentioned in a several places. The Switch Witch is sort of like the tooth fairy. On Halloween night or whenever you want, kids go to sleep and leave out their leftover candy for the Switch Witch. She takes it, and leaves a brand new toy behind in its wake. More on the Switch Witch tradition here.
– Create a Thanksgiving countdown calendar. Sort of like an Advent calendar, devote one piece of candy for every day between now and Thanksgiving. A great way to meter out candy without so obviously metering out candy.
– Take it to a Halloween buy back program, such as the Halloween Candy Buy Back at Smile Doctors Braces. On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 4:00-6:00 p.m. Smile Doctors will pay $1 per pound of candy to the child donating it (up to 10 pounds), donate $1 to the Crisis Nursery, and all of the candy goes to the troops via Operation Gratitude. Smile Doctors in Champaign, 1715 Broadmoor Dr, Suite A, Champaign, IL. All Children Welcome with a parent or guardian.
What are the ways you manage the candy your children receive on Halloween?