Creative Uses for Leftover Halloween Candy
Let’s face it, folks – we live in a culture of excess, and never is this more apparent than around the holiday season. We all stock up on jumbo bags of candy to distribute on Halloween night, only to find ourselves with an extra pound or two of the sweet stuff when all is said and done (and that’s on top of the haul your kids bring home!) It might be tempting to indulge in candy all throughout November, but if you’re looking for new ways to make use of your Halloween leftovers, consider any of the following creative options.
Donate to Charities or Troops Overseas
If you have more than you need, why not share with those who could use a boost? There are a variety of organizations, such as Treats for Troops, Operation Gratitude, and Operation Shoebox, as well as the Halloween Candy Buyback Program, that will collect Halloween candy and ship it to soldiers overseas, thus providing a taste of home and fond memories that help nurture and sustain those on the frontlines.
You can also contact local shelters, food pantries, and soup kitchens to see if they are accepting donations. View this as an opportunity to teach your children a lesson in empathy and generosity that is much more valuable than a few extra fun size candy bars.
Create Your Own Unique Candy Confections
On its own, candy is pretty standard fare. But when you think outside the box and use the candy to make baked goods and other special treats – well, there is truly no limit to the delicious possibilities that unfold! If you’re looking to make a unique dessert for a special occasion, you could use your Halloween leftovers to whip up something special, a la candy bar pie, Kit Kat stuffed brownies, Snickers® skillet cookies, or candy corn pretzel cookie bark.
If you’d prefer to whip up something simple, you could add M&Ms® or candy corn to trail mix, include various candy mix-ins with your pancakes or French toast, or add Nerds candy to your popcorn or milkshake for a sweet, crunchy take on these classics.
Engage Your Little Scientists in Candy Experiments
Who says education should be contained to the classroom? Children are like sponges, constantly soaking in information based on their lived experiences, and what better what to promote both learning AND fun than by engaging them in your own DIY science experiments?
This article published on npr.org features a number of suggestions, including dissolving and melting candy, testing for acidity, and even doing your own Skittles chromatography! These experiments are sure to spark curiosity and creativity among all the young members of the family.
Gift Candy, Spread Joy
Candy is almost universally loved, so why not share the wealth with those you love in kind? You could send a care package to older relatives or friends who don’t have children, use the candy to create Thanksgiving giveaways or goodie bags, or stash it away to use as a stocking stuffer later on in the year.
If you want to get rid your leftovers quickly and without any fuss, you could always bring it all to the office and let your coworkers have at it, or send some to the property managers in your neighborhood or apartment building – we’re sure they’ll be thrilled for the pick-me-up!
Slowly Savor the Sweetness
Even if you choose one of the above methods, be sure to save at least a little bit of candy for your kids (and, let’s face it, for yourself, too!) You could create a freezer stash for emergency chocolate cravings, send a small piece in your kids’ lunches as a sweet treat to go along with their sandwiches and carrots, or dole it out during family movie nights as a perfect complement to the salty popcorn.
However you decide to part ways with your excess, remember to savor the sweet Halloween memories, as they will last so much longer than the sugar rush your kids will experience on All Hallows’ Eve!