Full disclosure: the above picture is not staged. It is an actual shot of my kitchen table as I write this, and regrettably, the pile will be much larger by the end of this post!
If we do Halloween right, it means tired, sugared-up kids and parents left with more candy than any family needs. Wondering what to do with the excess once you’ve cherry-picked a few favorites? Check out these 3 simple tips to help you beat the Halloween hangover:
If you have some sense of self control (I do not), bag it up and throw it in the freezer. This takes it out of sight and requires more effort to indulge as you have to actually walk to the freezer and let it thaw out (if it’s the right kind). It also lengthens the shelf life, so you don’t feel obligated to eat it right away. It’s handy later in the year for pinatas or Advent calendars, and if you’re not too type A about holiday specifics (Reeses pumpkins v. Reeses eggs), it works in Easter baskets too.
Throw it away
Yes, I said it. Throw. It. Away. Throwing away anything that may have some remote use is a challenge for me. I save unmatched socks, cool whip containers, and empty shoe boxes. And when it comes to food I’m even worse. I’m a clean plate champion and very few desserts been wasted in my house. A friend once told me, however, that whether you eat it or throw it away, you’re still wasting food. You can choose to waste it in your body or waste it in the garbage, but either way, that food is not needed. When you grab that sixth Snickers (that you are only eating to save your kids from sugar-induced damage), consider whether it’s better wasted in your body or in the trash…then cover it up with something nasty just in case you feel the need to dig it out later!
If throwing candy away seems too extreme, but you don’t have enough self control to let it reside under your roof, consider donating it. There are a number of organizations will gladly take the candy off your hands, and some even pay you back!
- Participate in a Halloween Candy Buy Back program. Locally, the Cedar Rapids Smile Center (1260 3rd Avenue SE) is paying $1/pound (up to 5 pounds) on Thursday, November 2 from 4-6pm.
- If you can’t make that, donate it to Operation Gratitude,which collects donations to send to deployed troops and first responders. You can drop it of at River City Dental Care at 1590 Lower Muscatine Rd in Iowa City or mail it before November 15th using this form.
- Just want to drop it off today? Our local Ronald McDonald House (730 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City) accepts donations anytime. Just stop in (it’s next to Carver Hawkeye Arena) and drop it off at their office.
Wherever your Halloween candy finds its resting place, try to make it one you’ve chosen with thought: mindful saving for later, mindful tossing, mindful donating, or maybe just a little mindful snacking. Clearly I won’t judge.
**Candy donation opportunities have been updated to accurately reflect 2017 details.