What to do with all that Halloween Candy!

by Janice

Door-to-door the costumed workers go, filling up pillowcases, tote bags, plastic pumpkin baskets…What will they do with the Halloween Candy?! It is so much!

It doesn’t matter that their loot is weighing them down, they are determined — more, more, more. Must.Get.More.

halloween-candyAnd then they come home and dump their bounty on the living room floor. Candy spills everywhere and we parents immediately begin calculating how many cavities and sugar crashes the piles represent.

We know we need to get rid of it. They simply cannot, well should not, eat it all.

So we, as responsible parents, help them out — one candy bar at a time.

But, after about 48 hours of pilfering their treat sacs, we realize this is not a wise move. We ALL need to get rid of this candy — and fast!

So WHAT can we do with all that Halloween candy?!?

  • Have a “buy back” with your kids if they really don’t want to part with their hard-earned candy. Offer your children cash or other rewards in exchange for their candy.
  • Put some candy away for baking cookies or decorating gingerbread houses during the holidays. You can always freeze some to keep for baking in the New Year too.
  • Donate it to the troops — those men and women really deserve some treats!!! (And I have a feeling they have a little bit more physical activity to burn it off than I do!

    Donate Halloween Candy to the Troops:
    Operation Gratitude welcomes everyone’s excess Halloween candy. Please deliver or ship BY DECEMBER 3 to:
    Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
    17330 Victory Boulevard
    Van Nuys, CA 91406

  • And if all else fails, and you just REALLY want a sweet treat — indulge by crushing candy bars into vanilla ice cream. Just make sure the ice cream is light or non-fat. I mean, we really do need to be responsible! **wink wink**

Written by Janice, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom

Did you know that Susan and I own two online toy stores where you can find unique toys for Christmas like a pedal car or an inspiring toy kitchen. You know, in case Santa needs any ideas!

Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at janicecrozephotography.com.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JDaniel4's Mom November 3, 2010 at 5:54 am

We didn’t get a lot of candy this year. Donating it sounds like a great idea for those loaded down with candy.


2 Janice November 3, 2010 at 11:26 am

Yes – my son gave away most of his on Halloween night to trick or treaters that came after we got back. So we don’t have too much to get rid of. But… we still have a tiny bit more than we should have! ;)


3 Carmen November 3, 2010 at 7:15 am

I love the idea of sending the candy to the troops. I also know from experience that they often give the candy to the kids of the country they are in. My husband gave lots of candy to Iraqi children when he was stationed there and said it reminded him of the innocence that all people start out with.


4 Janice November 3, 2010 at 11:22 am

Oh – I didn’t even think of them giving it to the children! That is wonderful! :) (We should send toothbrushes to give out too!) LOL


5 Carmen November 3, 2010 at 11:25 am

Definitely should toothbrushes!


6 Trish November 3, 2010 at 8:22 am

My son’s school collects extra Halloween candy from the kids and gives it to a shelter.


7 Janice November 3, 2010 at 11:22 am

That is wonderful – I am not sure if our school does that… I have to check.


8 Lisa November 3, 2010 at 9:14 am

These are great ideas!

We trick-or-treated a lot of it right back to people as we walked, since we weren’t at home to answer the door. We purchase all-natural and organic candy to give them, so they don’t even keep/eat what they collect anyway. My 10-year-old son was so sweet, giving out his candy as we walked. I know other kids and parents kept shooting us strange looks wondering what we were doing out there if they weren’t keeping the candy. For us, it’s about socializing, dressing up, having fun, then we come back and have the ‘safe stuff’ without the spaz ;)


9 Janice November 3, 2010 at 11:24 am

My son gave away more than half of his candy too – probably about 3/4 of it to trick or treaters that came after we got home. He kept saying he had too much! LOL So the kids that came ot our place got handfuls and handfuls of the stuff we had and of his!


10 pamela ponder November 3, 2010 at 9:25 am

thats an awesome idea to donate to the troops my brother serves in the army what was I thinking I send him stuff all the time to share with his buddies….


11 Janice November 3, 2010 at 11:24 am

I bet they will really appreciate that!!!


12 Kristi November 3, 2010 at 9:28 am

Our local Noodles and Company restaurant is hosting a trade your candy for noodles this Sunday. It is my kids favorite restaurant and it is a good chance to get rid of a bunch of it. I think the Noodles stores around the country are all doing it.


13 Janice November 3, 2010 at 11:25 am

mmmm… great idea!


14 Susie's Homemade November 3, 2010 at 9:43 am

We ration ours out through the year:-)


15 Janice November 3, 2010 at 11:25 am

We did that when I was a kid – I still had it at Easter and we had to throw it out eventually! LOL


16 Brandy November 3, 2010 at 9:53 am

We are donating ours to my daughters school, they donate it to the rescue mission who makes baskets for familys on Thanksgiving


17 Janice November 3, 2010 at 11:25 am

Wonderful! :)


18 Sarah November 3, 2010 at 11:30 am

It’s not very well known, but there is a Stimulus Project in the North Pole to save the Elves’ jobs; they are on a very tight budget this year. Our family is donating some of our Halloween candy to the project to put in Christmas stockings. Every little bit helps! Save the Elves!


19 Anna November 3, 2010 at 11:32 am

every year i invite everyone i can think of for a weekend morning in november, take all the chocolate ones we have, chop them up and bake them into pancakes – they are the best things ever.


20 kim November 3, 2010 at 11:48 am

I give my kids a couple of days of unlimited access, then they pick out some favourites and get one a day until it’s gone.

I send the rest of it to work with my husband. He says it’s gone the first day. Who says adults have all the self control.


21 Stacey November 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm

We did the “Candy Buy-back” which was a great way to get the candy out of the hands (and minds) of my girls. The problem? The candy is sitting in a bowl that my hands seem to keep finding their way to! Seriously? How many mini-candy bars can one person eat in one day????


22 Serendipity is Sweet November 3, 2010 at 12:54 pm

For some educational fun check out these candy experiments: http://www.candyexperiments.com/

I love the idea of donating to the troops too. Or a local battered women’s shelter. Many have kiddos who don’t get to enjoy the holidays like most of us do.

Great post!


23 Susan November 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm

The other night my 3 year old insisted on sleeping with her bucket of candy next to her!!!


24 Cat Davis (3 Kids and Us) November 3, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I remember hearing last year about a local dentist’s office that had a buy back program for Halloween candy, I think it was discounted services and toothbrushes for the kids for every pound of candy they traded in. I think I’m going to look that up today. With all three kids trick-or-treating this year, we’ve got WAY too much candy.


25 Tracey Moore November 3, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I was in Iraq a couple years ago serving. One day a week we would pass out candy sent to us, to the children. A pack of gum or a candy bar to them was like giving them the best gift ever. They were SOOOO grateful for this one little treat. I think it is an awesome idea to send.


26 Sandra November 3, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Those are terrific ideas. I, however, prefer to add layers of fat to my body in preparation of the cold winter months by consuming large amounts of the sugar. :)
Great ideas though! Of course i’m kidding…sort of..someone take the bag away from me please!


27 Casey November 3, 2010 at 10:48 pm

So I am writing this 72 hours after the trick or treat fest. My 3 yo has forgotten about her loot bag, unfortunately I have not. The tummy ache that I have now has reminded me to send the rest to work with my hubby! I have saved a little bit for my daughter, but since I have little self control…out it goes!

BTW, love the candy picture. I find the Canadian packaging of different treats fascinating…why does it have to be different than the US packaging???


28 Baldai November 4, 2010 at 8:56 am

I;ll eat them before Christmas ;)


29 Katie November 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Great ideas, I really like the idea to buy it back and had no idea you could donate to the troops! We’ll probably do that one. Now I’m motivated to go through E’s THREE buckets of candy to sort out a few of her favorites.


30 Janelle November 6, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Good idea about donating it to the troops! It was the first time for my daughter to go door to door in our neighborhood and she got a whole lot of loot! Usually we go to the mall and she doesn’t really get as much, but this year, she got 3 bags worth. It was cool for her to be getting so much candy, but since we don’t allow too much candy, all her treats are still stashed in my pantry. But thanks for the tip!


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