Creative Ways to Use Halloween Candy

Halloween candy trick-or-treat

Congratulations, you’ve successfully gotten through Halloween night! You’ve dressed your child in an adorable costume, given her a giant plastic pumpkin, and allowed him or her to run around with a dozen friends in pursuit of candy. You’ve navigated the tricky process of balancing blood sugars on a night filled with highs (excitement and adrenaline) and lows (running around from house to house). You’ve bolused for every piece of candy your child ate on the trick-or-treating route, even though your hands were already full with candy pails, flashlights, and the huge plastic sword that your child gave to you halfway through the night because it was too tiresome to carry around.

But Halloween isn’t over yet. The next question looms ahead: What to do with all that candy? It’s a problem all parents face, not just parents of children with diabetes. Your child has somehow managed to collect his or her weight in Halloween candy, and for the sake of your child’s teeth and waistline (as well as yours!), you can’t let your child eat all of it! Let your child pick out a set amount his or her favorites and agree on how many can be eaten per day or per week. Here are some ideas for what to do with the rest:

1) Save a few pieces to practice carb counting with your child. Think of it as a fun math lesson with practical applications. Here’s a list of popular Halloween candies and their carb counts to get you started!

2) Save a few pieces for low blood sugar episodes. Halloween candy comes in small, individually-wrapped pieces, so it’s easy to take on-the-go.

3) Find a local candy buy-back program. Many dentists offer restaurant gift certificates or movie tickets or cold, hard cash for every pound of candy that kids hand in.

4) Donate excess candy to US forces stationed overseas. Good Old American candy is scarce in foreign countries, so US troops always appreciate the sweet taste of home!  Operation Shoebox and Operation Gratitude are two organizations that coordinate delivery and distribution of Halloween Candy to US troops.  If you’re in the East Bay, Carb DM is hosting a Candy Swap on Sunday, November 2:  children can trade in candy for a toy of their choosing, and candy will be donated to the troops!

5) Use your Halloween candy to decorate your holiday gingerbread houses.

6) Use your Halloween candy for your holiday baking.  Hard candy can be crushed to make stained glass cookies, and mix chocolate candies into brownies, bars, or cookies. Serve the cookies at your class holiday party, or box them up for the neighbors, or leave a plateful in the teacher’s lounge at your child’s school.

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