Looking for creative ways to get rid of leftover Halloween candy? If you don’t get rid of it you know you are either going to eat it all, or find it in about 18 months in that super sneaky place you planned to hide it. Today I am sharing easy ways to donate your leftover Halloween candy to sweeten up someone else’s day.
What should you do with your extra Halloween candy?
Who doesn’t love a miniature Snickers? I know I do!
They are all things delicious and satisfying in one perfectly simple single bite.
But here’s the deal – we all know that all that sugar is not good for us – or our kids.
While I am all for the fun and excitement of Halloween, I do like to put some sort of limit on how much candy my kiddos consume.
A simple way I avoid extra sugar in my family’s diet is that I don’t buy candy, so it’s pretty easy to avoid it most of the year. Except for when Halloween hits.
We still do things the “old fashioned way” walking from house to house in our neighborhood. While my kiddos love filling their adorable trick-or-treat bags, that means that every year on November 1st there are two huge bags full of candy in my house. That is simply too much sugar.
How much sugar is too much?
Just to put things in perspective the American Heart Association came out with new guidelines for maximum recommended sugar intake for adults and children.
For women the recommendation is 7 teaspoons and for children it is just 4 teaspoons.
So, let’s translate that to actual candy consumption:
One miniature Snickers has a little over 4 teaspoons of sugar. So, if you eat 2 and your kiddo eats just one – you have met your max for the day.
And let’s be honest…have you ever only eaten two of them? Yep I didn’t think so, me neither 😉
We also buy a lot of candy to hand out because we don’t want to turn any kids away. So not only do my kids have a ton of candy, but we also have extra Halloween candy leftovers!
So here’s the deal.
No one should be eating all of that extra Halloween candy!
I don’t believe in extreme rules when it comes to food, so of course I am going to allow my kids to trick-or-treat and indulge a little. That’s just part of the fun of being a kid on Halloween.
That being said, I want the stuff out of my house as soon as possible. I’ve tried hiding it and allowing them one piece a day until it’s gone, but the reality is one of three things ends up happening:
- They find the stash
- They beg for it constantly and drive me crazy
- The ants get to it
Leftover Halloween Candy can make you Sick
No, not because it’s rotten or gets moldy.
Another reason to ditch to sweets ASAP at Halloween time is because sugar is a huge immune system depressor.
The fall is the beginning of cold and flu season and the last thing you want to do is impair your or your kiddos immune systems by eating too much candy.
This is the time of year you want to be boosting their immunities, not making it easier for them to get sick.
The best ideas for leftover Halloween candy are the ones that allow you to repurpose it. The suggestions below include crafts, recipes, learning opportunities and charities that are the perfect way for you to purge your home of the excess sugar.
How sweet is that? Ha!
Easy ways to Donate your Leftover Halloween Candy
Reverse Trick-or-Treat (retirement homes)
I absolutely adore elderly folks. They are a precious resource for life lessons and are so deserving of our time, respect and care.
An absolutely wonderful way to teach your children about generosity and bringing joy to others is what I like to call the Reverse Trick or Treat.
Simply contact your local retirement home and schedule a good time to come.
Your child will have so much fun going from door to door and surprising the tenant with a sweet treat.
It is also a great way to teach them:
- proper etiquette for door knocking
- how to introduce themselves
- and speaking loudly and clearly enough for others to hear
All fantastic lessons that will help them throughout life.
Ronald McDonald House
How wonderful is it that there is an organization that provides housing for families with very sick children? Families often stay at the Ronald McDonald House for days or weeks at a time while their child receives the medical treatment they need.
Before you send the candy just know that The hospital and house require all the candy/snacks to be commercially made, pre-packaged, and of course, unopened.
If you live near one you can simply deliver it, but if you need to mail it in you can find the closest Ronald McDonald House to you by clicking here.
Operation Shoebox creates and ships care packages to troops. I am sure it would be wonderful to open a box and find your own personal candy stash.
Since many troops serve overseas where traditional American candies are not available this can be a special way to send our active men and women a little piece of home. Here are some additional tips when sending your donation in.
- Make sure that the candy is heat resistant so it doesn’t melt during the shipping process. (ie – no chocolate)
- Include a post card! You can pre-address the postcard to yourself or your organization with a note asking the service member to please let you know if they received the package.
- You DO NOT have to put a stamp on the post cards — the service member can mail them for free back to the states.
- The U.S. Postal Service offers FREE boxes for Priority Mail. You can also order free boxes from the USPS online store (for use with Priority Mail shipping only). The Recommended size is the #4 or #7 box.
Or call 1-800-222-1811
For more info click here
Public Service Professionals
Need local donation ideas for leftover Halloween candy?
Mail carriers, firefighters, police officers – chances are your child is awestruck by one of these professions. Why not give your child the opportunity to say hello to a real-life community helper and give them a thank you gift at the same time?
Teaching your children to respect and support our public servants is an important lesson.
How much easier is it going to be for your child to hand over their candy if it means they get to see a firetruck at the same time? Simply head to your local police or fire station for drop off. For your mail carrier you can leave a small package labeled for them in your mailbox. What a sweet surprise!
When you are unsure of where your next meal will come from a sweet treat is sure to brighten your day. Many homeless shelters are happy to accept unopened candy after the holidays to have available for their residents. A super easy way to feel good knowing your treat donation could possibly bring a bit of joy to someone who hasn’t had much to smile about.
STEM ideas for leftover Halloween candy
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
There are a ton of STEM activities you can do with candy. As a teacher, I couldn’t help but share this not-so-generous, but very educational option. Consider donating your leftover Halloween candy to your child’s classroom along with a print-out of the instructions for one of the activities below.
Break room at work
When you just need to GET THE CANDY OUT OF YOUR HOUSE, place it in a bowl and leave it in the breakroom at work. I promise you it will be gone by lunchtime. Remember, this is about you controlling how much sugar you eat…you can control someone else’s choices 😉
So, there you have it – seven helpful ideas for leftover Halloween candy. Kick the candy to the curb and feel good about bringing a bit of sweetness to brighten someone else’s day.
We would love to hear from you! What are your favorite ideas for leftover Halloween candy? Please comment below!