Raise your hand if your house still has Halloween candy left. Don’t lie about it, we can’t be the only ones. And yes, that secret stash in the top of your pantry that your kids don’t know about DOES count. If you’re like our family, your kids probably got way too much candy and you’re not quite sure how to, ahem, dispose of it in a manner that is satisfactory to everyone in the household. I mean, you could always just throw it away I guess, but I don’t like that idea because it goes against everything we’ve taught our son about not being wasteful. But having a bunch of candy lingering around in the house also goes against everything we’ve taught our son about making healthy lifestyle choices!
It took some brainstorming (and pinterest-ing, because not all of these ideas are mine, most notably the recipes!), but here are some ways our family is handling our leftover candy stash this year…
DONATE – The fastest way to make that candy disappear, and a much better option than throwing it away! Most dentist offices will take Halloween candy (and in turn send it somewhere else, such as to soldiers overseas). Some will even pay you by the pound, which could turn your candy into an economics lesson for your older kiddos!
ADVENTURES ONLY – If you can’t splurge while you’re climbing/hiking/skiing etc, then when can you? If you’ve got the willpower, reserve some of your treats for special adventures. Many times a little bit of sugary motivation can go a long way for keeping those little legs moving (see this post on Hiking Bears for more about this idea!)
FRO YO TOPPINGS – Next time your family heads to one of those frozen yogurt bars where you add toppings yourself and pay by the ounce, think ahead and bring your own toppings out of your candy stash! You can emphasize how much money you are saving (although you may have to eat outside/in the car, since the store manager may not appreciate your re-purposing brilliance as much as your family does!) Better yet, create your own fro yo bar at home as part of a special family night!
GINGERBREAD DECOR – If making gingerbread houses/people is one of the holiday traditions your family enjoys, then save the “prettiest” candy to use for decorations!
BAKING – When I started looking up recipes that use chocolate candy as key ingredients, I was SHOCKED at how many options there were. All of them looked so yummy, it was a no brainer to save our chocolate candy for baking projects! So far we’ve made an outrageously amazing Butterfinger Pie for our small group at church, as well as some candy-laden cookies for Big C’s Thanksgiving feast at school (ok, ok, and we made extra to take to the crag last weekend…) For Thanksgiving, we’re making Snickers Blondies and Milky Way Fudge , and I have a whole list of ideas for Christmas goodies to give away to teachers, neighbors, friends, etc. (Check out my Pinterest board for the recipes!) None of the recipes are “good for you,” but if you share with others you get to enjoy a little in moderation while spreading some cheer to those around you!
Since we all know that our kids pick up on everything we do (whether we want them to or not!), I think how we handle seemingly simple things like leftover candy is a great chance to find some teachable moments with our kiddos. My hope is that these ideas will show my son how our family views health, balance, money, and good stewardship, and allow him to be an active participant!
What does your family do with your leftover candy stash…I know you’ve got one…;)