Count on America to kick off the holiday season by having kids fill pillowcases full of sugary candy. As my daughter is now two and “cookie” is one of her favorite words I’m all about finding ways to carefully balance nutrition and indulgences. So what to do come Halloween when faced with arm loads of Halloween candy and a two year old’s puppy dog eyes? Stay strong mamma and check out these options for some new Halloween traditions.
The Switch Witch
I saw the Switch Witch one year on Shark Tank and thought it was such a smart and brilliant idea. Think tooth fairy mixed with Elf on the Shelf but better because you don’t have to frantically run around every morning moving it around the house (you terrify me Elf on the Shelf).
On Halloween Night, kiddos will leave a heap of their candy out for the Switch Witch and be surprised with a special “thank you” gift in the morning. She even comes with a whole story book and you can download themed coloring pages from their website.
As the Switch Witch you can opt to do one one of the following with your stash!
Given that Thanksgiving is quickly around the corner and we are all doing our best to find teachable moments, donation is a beautiful option. Help your child pick out their favorite few candies to keep (and maybe fill up your guilty pleasure stock) then donate to one of these locations:
Operation Gratitude is an organization dedicated to sending care packages to our troops overseas. Everything from snacks, hand-made items, cards, games. Anything to show gratitude, appreciation and some drive to keep our brave men and women going until they’re able to come back home to their families. Find out all the Dos & Don’ts and How To’s for shipping candy to the organization here.
Halloween Candy Buy Back
In coordination with Operation Gratitude, dentists and other local businesses from all over the nation host a yearly Halloween Candy Buy Back where they will actually BUY your candy for $1 a pound. Their collections all go to our troops through Operation Gratitude.
This is a fantastic option to both teach the importance of dental hygiene, nutrition and giving back. To find your nearest Halloween Buy Back location enter your zip code in the top right of their website here.
Local Fire Stations
What little kids don’t love visiting the fire station!? Here’s a great opportunity to visit your local fire fighters and show your gratitude by delivering your leftover candy. Or, even bring some repurposed sweet treats as seen below!
Looking for additional places to donate? See some additional options here.
The nice thing about candy is that it lasts a long time if you can keep yourself from eating it. That means there are plenty of options to repurpose your stash!
First off, if there’s anything you won’t be eating within a reasonable amount of time, get it in the freezer. Then, it’s ready to go for when you want to use it! Here’s some fun ideas:
- Add into milkshakes (especially that chocolate!)
- Top your brownies with a little extra sweet!
- Make your own sweet trail mix
- Top a birthday or Christmas gift with a small batch
- Transform a small bundle of chocolates into a sweet hostess gifts for all those holiday parties
- Turn the M&M’s, Skittles and other small goodies into an advent calendar
- Stocking stuffers!
There are so many more great ideas out there to help the little ones (and you) indulge and not go overboard. We would love to hear more ideas from you all – tell us if you’ve had success with any of these or have your very own traditions you love doing with the kiddos.