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By Marnie Brodersen
Posted Oct 28, 2019
Posted Oct 28, 2019
Halloween is upon us, which means loads of candy and sweet treats and, with that, kids who make spider monkeys look like unmotivated sloths. Of course, most of us are at peace with the fact that one day of sweets isn’t going to kill anyone and the bouncing off the walls will eventually come to a blessed halt. The day after Halloween, however, is another thing entirely. None of us want this candy around our house for too long, as stomach aches will abound, cavities will take root, and let’s face it - our willpower as parents is only so strong.
We’ve rounded up some of the easiest and most convenient methods of de-treating your home after Halloween and shared them with you below. Some of them involve ways to save the candy for later but, even better, there are alternatives that help to teach your kids about the importance of altruism.
Send the Candy to the Troops
There are plenty of organizations that help make this easy, including Operation Gratitude. You do have to pay the postage but you can feel amazing about the smile you put on the soldiers' faces when they receive these sweet treats while they are working hard to protect our nation. Don't forget to have your kiddos include a note to the troops, too. Operation Gratitude was featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which is the least the affable TV host can do after his annual "Mom and Dad ate all your candy" bit!
Moms are great at freezing things to minimize waste, but did you know that you can freeze candy, too? According to this article on thespruceEats.com, here is a list for how long various types of candy lasts in the freezer:
- Chocolate Candy Bars: 10 months-1 year
- Peanut Butter Cups: 6-8 months
- Hard Candies: 1 year
- Caramels: 6-9 months
- Jellybeans: 8-10 months
- Candy Corn: 6-8 months
- Chewing Gum: 8-10 months
This is a great way to dole out treats at your leisure, and could even be used for potty training rewards if the timing works out!
Embrace the Buy Back Movement
Having dentists and other local organizations - including some who send it to the troops as well - buy Halloween candy back has become such a popular concept, there is now a national website for it. Your own dentist probably has a program but, if not, just hop on the site and find a convenient location near you. If your kids are too young to understand the importance of this, you can always weave a tale about a Halloween Candy Fairy. Fanciful fairy stories are universally loved by all wee witches and warlocks.
Have Some Family Fun With Fondue
Right now, you're probably picturing your kids just dumping all of the candy into a slow cooker, and, hey - who knows? That could work. But if you simply search "Halloween candy fondue", there are tons of recipes that will surely lead to a full day of family fun. Perhaps this could become an annual tradition, too.
Photo Courtesy of ThriftyFun.com
Helping Mother Earth while helping mothers everywhere? Check and check. We all know that reducing, reusing, and recycling is the way to go, so go ahead and repurpose that candy for something fun and useful. Whether it's for creating OREO turkeys for Thanksgiving, building a gingerbread house (the holidays are fast approaching!), boiling down the chocolate pieces for a recipe, or creating a candy bouquet for an upcoming birthday party, you can feel good about reusing your sweet treats. You could even put the candy up on the free section of Craigslist, as there could be a less fortunate family that can repurpose the candy for needs that suit them.
Use it For Motivation
Not all parents believe in using candy for rewards but, if you do, you've got yourself an instant reserve. Find a good place to stash the treats where your kids won't find them. As we mentioned, this can be great for potty training, but perhaps can even be given for things like good grades and stellar behavior.
Leave it to the Switch Witch
Whether you love or hate the Elf on the Shelf, this concept isn't going anywhere, and has even spread into other holidays. The Switch Witch is actually a great concept. Similar to the aforementioned Halloween Fairy, the story with this is that Switch Witches need the kids' candy to heat their homes and make their Witchy World go 'round. When all is said and done, all (or at least most!) kids like to feel helpful. Whether you simply embrace the concept or buy the book and toy that go with it is up to you. And of course, there's an app for that.
If you're looking ahead to Thanksgiving, check out these unique and engaging Thanksgiving traditions that you might want to "borrow" for years to come.
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