Food & Nutrition

13 Clever Ways to Use Leftover Halloween Candy

The average kid can consume up to 7,000 calories on Halloween. (Yes, you read that right.) Put leftover candy to better use with these creative crafts, recipes, and more.

What to do with leftover Halloween candy?

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Last year, Denver mom of two Audrey Kinsman realized Halloween was becoming a problem for her younger son, 4, who has a serious food allergy and can’t eat most of the candy he collected trick-or-treating because they weren’t one of the 7 allergy-friendly candies. On a whim, Kinsman convinced her kids to forfeit their loot after keeping their five favorite pieces, because the “Switch Witch” was going to visit their house that night and swap their candy for a special toy. Kinsman’s kids were enthralled—“they came flying down the stairs the next morning and couldn’t wait to find out what happened with the Switch Witch”—she recalls. Thinking that other parents would also like this fun, magical way to purge Halloween candy, Kinsman transformed her made-up fairy tale into a new Halloween tradition called Switchcrafted. Her book, which comes with a Switch Witch doll (like The Elf on the Shelf), tells a whimsical story about witches who need candy to fuel their brooms and heat their homes. In chatting with Kinsman about the Switch Witch phenomenon, we also discovered many other creative things you can do with your leftover candy. If you don’t want to pass out candy, here are 12 non-candy Halloween treats to hand out that everyone can enjoy

Do a Candy Science Project

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Encourage wannabe Einsteins to conduct candy experiments: Parenting.com recommends the Incredible Growing Gummy Worm, which demonstrates how candy grows bigger when it absorbs water. Learn all about density with Skittles in this Density Rainbow experiment, suggests KidsHealth.org. Build a Sweetie House and test which material makes the best “cement,” proposes Science-Sparks.com. Or Dissolve the “M” off an M&M in this fun idea from Coffee Cups and Crayons. For more, Google “science experiments with candy” to stimulate kids’ curious minds—not their sweet teeth. Check out these other 14 cool facts even adults don’t know about Halloween candy.

Craft With Candy

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The average kid consumes between 3,500 and 7,000 calories on Halloween night, according to Donna Arnett, PhD, chair of the department of epidemiology in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health, via CNN.com. Convince an artsy kid to make cool crafts instead: Mike and Ike Butterflies from the blog Busy In Brooklyn, Candy Cane Sleighs from the blog One Hundred Dollars a Month, a Candy Potted Plant from About.com, or these Candy Necklaces from The Crafty Crow. Alternately, set aside candy for a holiday gingerbread house in a few short weeks, Kinsman suggests. Before you dive into your trick-or-treat stash, find out which 5 Halloween candies are the worst for your teeth.

Donate Candy to Our Troops

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Send a sweet thanks to our military by donating your candy to Halloween Candy BuyBack. How it works: Local dentists’ offices pay a few bucks for your haul and then donate it to Operation Gratitude, which sends care packages to U.S. troops. Use the location finder on their site to find a donation site near you. You can also mail your candy directly to Operation Shoebox, which also sends care packages to our military personnel.

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