If you’re doubtful about the old “too much of a good thing” cliche, you’ve obviously never had an over abundance of Halloween candy. For many of us, Halloween itself isn’t the only time our kids gather goodies. Some calendars are filled with class parties, trunk-or-treat events, and similar occasions for weeks.
The result is more candy than our children should eat! Sure, you can sneak some for yourself. Yet even that may not put much of a dent in your kids’ candy stash. As dentists, we’ve had lots of experience in finding alternate uses for Halloween candy. Read our blog for some of our favorite ideas.
While watching your child’s candy intake will help prevent cavities, you also need to bring them to our office for regular exams and dental cleanings. We may also suggest additional anti-cavity care like fluoride treatments, and dental sealants. Call Carmichael Dental Care at 334-600-1423 to schedule a cleaning or other preventive care.
Reimagine Halloween Candy as Part of New Treats
There are many ways to use leftover Halloween candy in the kitchen. Here are some of the easiest to try:
- Cookies – Chop up candy bars to add to cookie dough. Substitute M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces for chips in your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Use candies like Nerds instead of sprinkles on cookies or cupcakes.
- Milkshakes – Blend chocolate bars with ice cream or yogurt for a fast and delicious milkshake. Add a banana to make it a bit healthier.
- Trail Mix – Sweeten up a trail mix with M&Ms or similar candies.
- Brownies – You can add a sweet surprise to your favorite brownie recipe by sandwiching some Reese’s Cups, fun-size candy bars, or similar treats between two layers of dough.
Arrange for a Visit from the Halloween Fairy
Your kids won’t miss their candy if it’s replaced with something even better. Consider having the Halloween Fairy, a friendly relative of the Tooth Fairy, visit your home to collect surplus candy and leave money or a toy in its place.
Use Hard Candies to Make Holiday Decor
If you and/or your children enjoy crafts, you can make lovely Christmas tree ornaments with Life Savers, Jolly Ranchers, or other hard candies. They’ll look almost like stained glass with lights behind them. Keep some for your own tree and give some as gifts. You’ll need some heavy metal cookie cutters and a few other common household objects.
Here is how to do it:
- Preheat your oven to 350°
- Line a cookie sheet with foil
- Spray the foil and the insides of the cookie cutters with cooking spray to prevent sticking
- Fill the insides of the cutters with a single layer of candy
- Bake 5-7 minutes to melt the candies
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for around 2 minutes
- Use a drinking straw to make a hole in the lightly cooled candy (for hanging the ornaments)
- Continue cooling until the cutters are cool enough to touch, then gently pull them away from the ornament
- Add a ribbon for hanging, and they are ready for the tree
Make Paint With Skittles
Many kids like to paint pictures almost as much as they like to eat candy. If yours is one of them, you can make your own paint using Skittles. All you need is clear corn syrup and some small containers. (Baby food jars are ideal.) Simply sort your Skittles into the jars by color and pour enough corn syrup over them to cover. Let them sit until the corn syrup picks up the colors, a process that may take a few hours. Give them a stir, and they are ready to use. The “paint” not only looks vibrant on paper, it smells good too.
Send It to Those Serving Their Country
Several organizations collect leftover Halloween candy, then send it to our troops. Here are some good ones:
- Soldiers’ Angels – Deployed troops, veterans, and wounded veterans in VA Hospitals all receive candy from this organization. Look for a drop-off site near you on its website. They’ll even send you a donation receipt for tax purposes.
- Operation Gratitude – Get together with neighbors and host your own collection drive for this organization. Check the website for instructions on how to do it.
- Halloween Candy Buy Back – Check this site for participating locations that will exchange your kids’ candy for items like cash, coupons, or toothbrushes.
Take Leftover Halloween Candy to Your Workplace
We don’t know of many workplaces where employees aren’t happy to find sweet treats in their break room. If you’re in the mood for some fun, you can even duplicate Michael Scott’s business-school lecture from The Office.
Freeze Surplus Halloween Candy
Most unopened candy will keep for months if you freeze it. Put surplus Halloween candy in the freezer, then thaw it out later in small batches when you want to treat your kids – or yourself. Some candies like chocolate bars make a refreshing treat when eaten right from the freezer.
Call Carmichael Dental Care at 334-600-1423 to schedule appointments for your children or for other family members.