It’s October and for kids that means Halloween costumes and lots and lots of Halloween candy! This year keep the Halloween fun and avoid the post-Halloween candy craze! Here are some creative tips to help you avoid this year’s Halloween candy sugar frenzy!
Give kids a healthy meal or snack before they go out trick-or-treating. Your kids will have more energy while they are out walking and they will be less likely to gorge on candy when they get home. Set candy limits ahead of time. How much candy can they eat Halloween night? How much are they allowed to keep?
Halloween candy tips (and tricks)
- Do not send kids out with a pillowcase! Try a smaller bag and they will collect less candy.
- You keep the candy and give them some when they ask. Most kids will tend to forget about the candy in a few days (out of sight, out of mind).
- Have kids trade their candy for something like a toy, book, or something else they would like.
- Leave candy for the Halloween Fairy. She sneaks in on Halloween night and leaves a special gift to replace the Halloween candy.
- Buy their Halloween candy from them. Set a price for each piece of candy and pay them for the candy.
- Set up a Halloween candy swap shop. Kids can trade their Halloween candy for healthy parent approved treats.
What to do with leftover Halloween candy
- Look for a local donation site in your area
- Check with local dentist offices or veterans’ groups. Often times they will collect candy to send to U.S. troops deployed overseas.
- Freeze it! Then use the candy throughout the year in milkshakes, cookie dough, sundaes, and ice cream.
- Take the candy to work and leave it in the break room or at the front desk for coworkers.
- Check to see if local shelters accept candy donations
- Use the candy to decorate gingerbread houses, Christmas is just around the corner!
- Make a Christmas advent calendar with candy
- Use candy in baked goods or other dessert recipes
Additional Halloween candy tips
- Avoid buying Halloween candy too early! This may tempt you and your kids to start eating candy even before the trick-or-treating starts.
- Hand out non-food alternatives to trick-or-treaters who come to your door.
- Have alternative treats available for kids who have allergies to peanuts and nuts.
- Skip the post-Halloween candy sales
Halloween candy recipes (these are not healthy but they are creative, what can you expect when you are using candy as ingredients!)
Make your own Trail Mix
Small candies: M & Ms, Reese’s Pieces, or cut up Twizzlers (be creative!)
Caramel-Cookie Cheesecake Pie
2 8-ounce bars cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
22 Twix Fun Size Bars (16 grams each), chopped
8-inch chocolate cookie piecrust
1. Heat oven to 325. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and eggs on medium-high with an electric mixer until smooth.
2. Mix in 2 cups of the chopped Twix bars and pour mixture into the piecrust.
3. Bake until the pie is set for 40 to 45 minutes and let cool.
4. Sprinkle the pie with the remaining Twix bars and chill until firm for about 8 to 10 hours.
Frozen Peanut Butter Cup Banana Pops
2 bananas, peeled and halved
4 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (21 grams each)
6 ounces chocolate, chopped
1. Insert wooden sticks into each banana half.
2. Freeze the bananas and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for 2 hours.
3. Heat chocolate in a double boiler or medium heat-proof bowl and set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, stir often until melted and smooth.
4. Chop the frozen peanut butter cups.
5. Coat the frozen bananas in melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped peanut butter cups.
6. Freeze on a parchment lined plate until firm for about 4 to 5 minutes.