*Knock-Knock* “Trick or treat!” And so it goes all evening long on Halloween as witches, ninjas and adorable super heroes make the annual trek through the neighborhood collecting sweets and treats. On this night, kids get candy by the bag, bucket and pillowcase full. It’s a glorious time for little goblins but a nightmare for parents who wonder, “What are we going to do with all this?” A small indulgence is okay but growing bodies don’t need all the fat, sugar and preservatives, and neither do moms and dads who end up raiding the stash, and you know you do!
One year, my brother and I hid our Halloween bags in the closet and then snuck goodies whenever we could until we had eaten all the choice pieces like Snickers and Milk Duds. Then we left the the inferior candy like gumballs, taffy and those weird orange slices sit in the corner until Mom found our stash a few months later. Busted! At Diets In Review we have a better idea. Instead of eating all that candy and having to monitor your child’s closet for possible Snickers-hoarding, we’d like to offer you five fun alternatives.
- Operation Gratitude: Support our military men and women overseas by donating extra treats. They love receiving care packages that contain a familiar piece of home while they’re away. Donations of dental hygiene items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, medicated lip balm and dental floss are encouraged, as well. Visit the Operation Gratitude page to receive more information including the address for the official shipping site in Van Nuys, California. While you’re at it, include a note of thanks for all they do.
- Candy Wreath: Harness your inner Martha Stewart and fashion a fetching wreath for your door. It’s not as complicated as it looks and the result is a fun and funky fall decoration. Get the kids involved and have them make one for their bedroom doors too.
- Scientific Uses: What’s better than devouring Halloween candy? Smashing, crushing, dissolving, melting, and microwaving it. All in the name of science, of course. How do you get the letters to float off an M&M or Skittle? What is a chocolate bloom? Find out. The Web is chock-full of kitchen chemistry pros who have devised fun candy experiments you can do with your kids. We found a few faves at KidsHealth.org, too.
- Gingerbread Houses: Swipe that sugar loot and stow it away to decorate your Gingerbread house at Christmas time. Candy corn is awesome for shingles, Twizzlers for doorways, chocolate candies can be flattened to make stone pathways and rock gardens. Heck, why wait? Make a Gingerbread Haunted House!
- Switch Witch: We loved this idea. The concept is to have your child leave candy out each night during the week after Halloween and then the Switch Witch trades it for other small trinkets or gifts. This doesn’t have to be expensive. You can trade the sweets for bubbles, stickers, coins, scented markers, the possibilities are endless.
Candy wreath image via Martha Stewart.com