Halloween can be fun for all ages -- ghoulish costumes, frightening haunted houses, thrilling parties! Perhaps the scariest thing of all? The amount of candy and other treats that are eaten, sometimes for weeks following the festivities. Most of us are guilty of over-indulging, and the calories and added sugar add up quickly, which can lead to weight gain and sugar crashes.
Whether you hand out candy or your kiddos collect candy, you might be facing a Halloween hangover. Here are 10 ways to handle those leftover sweets:
1. Let the kiddos use it for learning activities. The younger ones can learn how to sort by color, size, or shape. The older ones can build sculptures and balancing towers.
2. Consider introducing the Switch Witch to the kiddos. There is a toy on the market (similar to Elf on the Shelf), but you don’t need to buy a product to tell the magical tale to your children. The Switch Witch is a good witch who comes to your house while everyone is sleeping and takes the halloween candy and switches it out for a toy.
3. Take it to your office to share with co-workers, but place it in an area that you don’t frequent each day, to avoid excessive temptations.
4. Use the small chocolates and natural fruit snacks to make your own trail mix. Add unsalted nuts, whole grain unsweetened Chex or Cheerios cereal, and pumpkin seeds for a Fall snack.
5. Melt the chocolates and drizzle it over apples or strawberries or dip a banana in, for a dessert or special treat.
6. Share the candy with your friends by inviting them over for a wine and halloween candy pairing party. Need some suggestions for pairings? Visit Vivino (https://www.vivino.com/wine-news/the-candy-and-wine-matchmaker) for a guide.
7. Put it out of sight for now, and save it:
to create an advent calendar.
share it with friends and family at the Thanksgiving table.
to make gingerbread houses or other holiday decor.
for a birthday party -- fill a piñata or create an ice cream sundae bar.
8. Contact local retirement homes, nursing homes, and homeless shelters to see if they accept donations of unopened candy.
9. Search for a local collection site to donate unopened candy to Soldiers’ Angels, who serves veterans, service members, and wounded heroes. https://soldiersangels.org/TreatsForTroops.html
10. Or, simply enjoy the leftovers.
Balance it out by skipping your usual sweetened beverage for the day (i.e. soda, sweet tea, flavored coffee).
Enjoy the sweets in moderation. Choose one or two small/fun size pieces to enjoy each day. Perhaps, select your favorite pieces or the healthiest pieces (i.e. dark chocolate, ones with nuts).
You CAN avoid the Halloween hangover, sugar crashes, and weight gain from the pounds of leftover sweets! Carefully consider how you want to handle any sweets left in the house after Halloween -- use one or more of the tips above. Your body and mind will be thankful.