Halloween has passed, leaving behind a mound of lingering treats in the homes of many families. To help keep your children (and you) away from too much sugary indulgence, here are some helpful hints for making good use of leftover candy:
- Re-purpose as educational tools for your kids. Practice counting skills or spelling using individual candies to form numbers and letters. Also, you could teach your child how to organize the candy by category, color or alphabetically.
- Sweeten your coffee. Drop your favorite chocolate into your morning cup of coffee for a quick, homemade café mocha.
- Make your own trail mix. Combine chocolate favorites with pretzels, nuts and dried fruit for a semi-healthy snack.
- Add a kick to your favorite desserts. Use leftover candy as an ice cream topping or to sweeten cookies and cakes. You also could blend candy with your favorite ice cream to make a shake. The Cooking Channel has various recipe suggestions.
- Freeze for up to one year in a plastic bag. Down the road, use the leftover candy for decorating during other holidays. For example, you could adorn a gingerbread house with your kids, or add a twist to your Thanksgiving art and crafts.
- Make a donation. Donate to homeless shelters or nursing homes, or to organizations such as Operation Shoebox that send care packages to troops serving in the military overseas.
- Make a trade. Your child may want to “trade” you his or her leftover candy for a toy or other reward, such as a day free from chores or for extra outdoor playtime. Consider accepting, and then share the candy with your co-workers. Your non-parent colleagues may not have an extra candy stash at home and so may appreciate the treat.