Our kids have already gone trick or treating a handful of times, and the calendar has not yet ticked over to October 31. Fortunately, we've made it through so far without a major surplus of candy -- or maybe that's unfortunate, since I was hoping to pilfer some of their stash.
If you're stuck watching a mountain of shiny plastic wrappers accumulate before your eyes, we've sifted through some nifty options for minimizing the sugar-buzz crashes.
1. Let the Kids Do Their Thing
Give them permission to gorge on sweets to their heart's content for one night only. Brush the holy heck out of their teeth before bed. Make the rest of the candy disappear (see below).
2. Make It Last
Tuck a single piece into their lunch boxes as a treat for the entire month of November. If you're feeling particularly motivated, include a note each day about small ways to be sweet and show kindness to others. Be prepared to hide the stash out of sight or this plan might backfire.
3. Leave It for the Monsters
Just like Santa loves his cookies, the Halloween monsters (or ghouls, goblins, witches, etc) need to fill their bellies before heading back to the spooky places from which they came. Have the kids pick out a few favorite pieces and leave the rest in a bag by the front door. In the morning, they might find a special stuffed toy or puzzle or book in its place.
4. Concoct Ooey, Gooey S'mores
Invite friends over for a post-trick-or-treating campfire and swap out the Hershey bars for the candy of their choice. Reese's peanut butter cups and Kit-Kats are two delicious replacements. It might not deplete the candy completely, but it will make a good dent in it at least.
5. "Sell" It to Us!
We've teamed up with the Forever Curious Children's Museum in Fennville and Operation Gratitude to collect and redistribute candy to troops stationed overseas. The kids will receive non-sugary goodies while doing something good for others; it's a win-win. Simply drop off your excess candy during museum hours through November 12.
Did we leave out your preferred method for handling the candy hauls? Let us know in the comments.