Speaking personally, I think parenting older children is superior in every way to caring for babies/toddlers, with one notable exception: my kids are now fully capable of monitoring the contents of their Halloween trick-or-treating stash. That means 1) it's not as easy to steal the good stuff from them, because they get downright Gollum-y about their candy piles (We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious…) and 2) kids + many days' worth of candy = CrazyTown, USA.
Since we still have a ton of Halloween leftovers in the house, I decided to research some options for putting surplus candy to good use, and I found all sorts of great ideas. If you're currently wondering what to do with the ceiling-high stack of fun-sized cavity-bombs that isn't disappearing as quickly as you'd like, check out these suggestions:
Try an international candy exchange. Some candy swaps let you trade treats with people all over the world -- you share your familiar goodies, and get a bag of exotic new candies to try. Mmmm, Turkish Delight.
Trade candy for a toy. Operation Troop Treats from Kool Smiles Dental Offices lets your kid pick up a toy in exchange for 25 pieces of candy.
Send it to our soldiers. You can participate in the Halloween Candy Buyback, or send candy directly to Operation Gratitude at OPERATION GRATITUDE/ CA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD, 17330 Victory Blvd, Van Nuys CA 91406, ATTN: Rich Hernandez. (Make sure to include a donor form.)
Donate to charity. There are plenty of charities who accept candy, including the Ronald McDonald House, Meals on Wheels, churches, and women's shelters. Here's how to package the treats before donating.
Give it to the PTA. The PTA at your kid's school would probably be thrilled to have extra bagged candy to give away at festivals and other fundraising events.
Save it for birthday goodie bags. You can keep candy for up to year in the freezer, so store it away for future party swag bags.
Ditto Christmas stockings. Sure, the bats-and-spiders motif might be a little weird by then, but who cares? CHOCOLATE. You could also save some smaller candies to use for gingerbread houses, or for an Advent calendar container.
Make awesome baked goods. Chop up candy bar pieces and use them instead of (or in addition to?) chips in cookies and brownies. Make candy-studded cheesecakes, pies, cupcakes, chocolate bark, and banana pops. Try a candy bar apple salad.
Use them to top your ice cream. Go big or go home, I always say. Channel your best Cold Stone calorie-adding skills and mix in some Halloween goodness into your favorite ice cream.
Turn it into booze. I'm a little skeptical of this idea, but if Betty Crocker says it, it must be true: apparently you can use the fruity-type candies to make candy-flavored alcohol. Please try this and report back to me, okay?
Do you have any ideas to add to this list? (Other than the obvious one, of course: JUST EAT IT!)