Why You Should Not Take Leftover Halloween Candy to Work (Plus 5 Alternative Options)

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Happy Halloween!  Today is a day that kids love and many adults fear.  For most adults, Halloween is the “Gateway to the Holiday Eating Season”.  There’s still a good month to go before Thanksgiving, but depending on the candy haul that comes home tonight, there could be lots of tempting items in the home.  After you’ve taught mindfulness to your children and the Switch Witch has come and gone, what happens to all that leftover Halloween candy?  My #1 suggestion is DON’T take it to work.

While I focus on teaching moderation and how candy can fit into a healthy lifestyle, many of my clients would prefer getting it out of the house ASAP for an “out of sight, out of mind” strategy.  So do you really think taking all that leftover Halloween candy to work is going to be the ideal solution?  First of all, you’re NOT the only one who’s come up with that plan. Which means the break room will be exploding with exponential amounts of candy versus what would be at home.  And many people already complain about the availability of unhealthy items at work, including year-round candy dishes.  Unless a real Switch Witch is visiting the office to permanently purge the candy, you’re not doing any favors taking extra candy to work. Instead of adding to the candy overload at work, here’s 5 ways you can put that candy to good use:

Related: No Kids, No Halloween? No Way!

Freeze Your Favorites

But this doesn’t get the candy out of the house!”  True, but it’s also a lot more challenging to overload on frozen candy. Most people don’t have the patience to wait for the candy to defrost. An added benefit is it takes longer to nosh on frozen candy, which slows down the number of pieces you’d typically scarf down. Plus, you can use that frozen candy during the holidays and throughout the year:

  • Add candy to dessert recipes or use as decorative garnish
  • Decorate gingerbread houses
  • Use for giveaways, goody bags, gift wrapping, and piñatas (yes, Mr E & I are two grown adults with no kids, and piñatas still make it to our parties)

Take it to the Dentist

“Um, isn’t this the wrong place to bring candy?”   Did you know you can turn candy into cash or toys? The Halloween Candy Buy Back accepts candy donations that will be sent to troops and provided to shelters. Some may pay you a small cash fee, while others will give toys or toothbrushes. Find a donation site.

Donate to Children’s Hospitals

“Aren’t we supposed to be limiting giving candy to kids?”  Until you’ve worked in a hospital, particularly a pediatric unit, you can’t fully appreciate how grateful kids and parents are for donations of any kind. Ronald McDonald House accepts candy donations and provides to families of children undergoing treatments. Other hospitals accept the donations, and will send them overseas or to local facilities.

Say “Thank You” to Our Troops

“Do soldiers really eat candy?”  Candy provides an immediate source of energy, which is important to those who need to be alert at all times. Many servicemen are burning excess calories throughout the day, so a few pieces of candy won’t be harmful to their health. Here are several organizations accepting candy donations and sending care packages to the troops:

Turn Candy into Cocktails

Turn that fun-size bit into an extra special treat! Infuse candy with liquor to leftover halloween candycreate flavored beverages that can be enjoyed as dessert or served at parties. Another great use for that frozen candy!  Don’t assume vodka is the only option.  Try these creative infusion ideas:

  • Milky Way in bourbon
  • Lime or Berry Jolly Ranchers, Skittles, or Starburst in tequila
  • Caramel or Whoppers in whiskey
  • Snickers in rye

Here’s the basic recipe:

  1. Start with a mason jar with lid.  Add candy to the jar. For items like candy bars, cut into smaller pieces. NOTE: avoid using sugar-coated candies, as this can make the alcohol too sweet. 
  2. Use a mid-level alcohol (it should not be something you drank in college, but ideally a spirit that doesn’t cause you to make a face when you drink it).  Fill to 2/3-3/4 of jar.
  3. Cover and allow to sit for 24 hours, up to 1 week. On a daily basis, give the jar a shake to blend the ingredients together.
  4. Using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain the contents of the jar. Discard the remaining candy pieces, and place the strained liquid back into the mason jar. Store in the freezer for long-term use. Garnish with additional leftover candy items.

Related: How to Have a Sensibly Sweet Halloween

WHAT OTHER WAYS DO YOU RID THE HOUSE OF LEFTOVER HALLOWEEN CANDY? WILL YOU TRY ANY OF THE ABOVE SUGGESTIONS? SOUND OFF IN THE COMMENTS!