Halloween is a favorite holiday for children. But faced with a bag full of sticky, unhealthy, cavity-causing treats, it’s often the least favorite holiday for parents. Worried your little pirate or princess will bring home more treats than you want them to eat? Here are six tricks for getting rid of Halloween candy in a healthier way.
1. Participate in a candy buy-back program
The Halloween Candy Buy Back program was started by a dentist in 2005, with other dentists across the country joining in over the years. Children are normally paid $1 a pound for their Halloween candy, with a limit of five pounds per child. The candy is then sent to the program’s partners with Move America Forward and Operation Shoebox, who sort the candy and send it to troops overseas.
To learn about dentists in your area who are participating in the Halloween Candy Buy Back, visit the program’s website and use the zip code locator.
2. Donate it to a good cause
Soldiers’ Angels Treats for Troops also accepts donations of Halloween candy to send to deployed military personnel. Area businesses and organizations sign up to become collection sites for the candy donations and offer prizes for children who donate. You can also participate by helping to prepare gift bags that are handed out at events during the holiday season.
3. Use it for educational purposes
Turn the Halloween treat-fest into a science lesson by helping your child conduct science experiments using candy. The website Candy Experiments features a number of learning activities and science fair ideas using Halloween candy, and there are even books you can order that feature additional experiments to help children learn about the chemical reactions and responses of the ingredients found in their favorite treats.
4. Use it in your holiday baking
The chocolates and brightly colored candies that kids get from trick-or-treating make great ingredients for fall and winter holiday baking, or even as features on a gingerbread house. The Delish website has recipes perfect for turning those Halloween candies into baked goods for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Kit Kat stuffed brownies, candy bar pie and even a Snickers skillet cookie are a few of the Delish creations that let you share the sweets among a larger group of people.
5. Take it to work with you
Not everyone has big bags of candy sitting around the house after Halloween. For co-workers who don’t have young children or don’t participate in trick-or-treating, candy at the office can be an unexpected and much appreciated treat, providing a bit of sweetness to help your work team get through the day.
6. Freeze it for later
Many parents don’t mind their child eating a few pieces of candy on occasion, but scarfing large quantities of candy in one sitting is another matter. Luckily, many types of candy freeze well, letting you provide smaller treats over a longer period of time. Candy that has fruits and nuts in it should not be frozen. Also avoid placing caramels, mints and hard candies that absorb moisture in the same container with candies like fudge that lose moisture. Combining them can make hard candies sticky. To ensure that hard candies stay hard, sprinkle them with finely ground sugar and store in an airtight container.
For more parenting tips and tools or to talk about the concerns you’re having about your children, contact Bard & Didriksen Pediatrics.