Great ideas for leftover Halloween candy

Baking it, saving it or donating it to troops among uses for extra treats

Halloween candy safety

After a successful night of trick-or-treating, kids usually can’t wait to dive in to their bag of treats. Although fun, eating excessive amounts of candy is certainly not healthy.

“Monitoring you child’s candy consumption on Halloween night and during the following days is a great way to avoid upset stomachs and continuous unhealthy eating,” suggests Shannon Burkett, dietitian at Dayton Children’s. “To avoid arguments, set up rules with your children before they go out into the neighborhood to trick-or-treat.”

Source: The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton and Safe Kids Greater Dayton

Once the little ghosts and goblins have had their fill of sugary treats and are tucked in for the night, parents can assess the candy haul.

While every child has a favorite sweet treat, their mom and dad too for that matter, there will always be those candy castaways left at the bottom of the bag. Then there’s the ever-present risk of an extended sugar rush if the bag, almost busting at the seams, is left within arms reach of your littlest sugar fiends.

So, what’s a parent to do with the bags and bags of candy that their trick-or-treaters lug home on Beggar’s Night?

Bake it

Halloween candy is a key ingredient in countless recipes: Heavenly Candy Bar Cupcakes (Milky Way), Toffee Crunch Cake (Heath), Chocolate and Malt Pudding (Whoppers), Snickers Cheesecake (Snickers) or, even Trash Mix (candy corn and gummy worms) are just a few of the recipes found on under Decadent Desserts with Leftover Candy.

If you have an abundance of a certain type of candy, maybe there weren’t as many little ones ringing your doorbell as you thought there would be. Search the candy company’s website. lists recipes such as Milky Way Brand Brownie Gems and Turtles. And has recipes that use M&M’s, Twix, Dove, Skittles and several other candy brands.

It doesn’t even need to be a new or elaborate recipe.

“I usually will make cookies with the extra candy,” said Janet Burton of Germantown. “I put it in the freezer and then, when I make cookies for the holidays, I use the chocolate chip cookie recipe and just add the chopped up candy. It’s a great way to save money and also use the chocolate candy up.”

Colorful candy such as Dots, Necco Wafers, Skittles and hard candies can be stored and used later to decorate holiday gingerbread houses.

Save it/Share it

How much candy can one child or, even, one family consume? It might be best not to try to find out.

Spreading out the candy consumption might prevent stomachaches, sugar rushes and the early onset of the dreaded holiday weight gain.

Even if you don’t plan to bake with it, freezing chocolate can prolong its shelf life and deter post-Halloween overindulgence. Then a piece or two can be dropped into lunch bags as a special treat.

“We freeze the chocolate candy bars and put the rest in Tupperware containers and monitor how much gets doled out,” mom Teresa Ostendorf said.

Getting it out of the house is also a good idea.

“I usually take it to work or send it to work with my husband,” said Amber Dilworth. “Candy goes pretty fast around my office.”

Teacher Jan Durham collects extra and unwanted candy and puts it in her classroom treasure box.

But candy can be more than a classroom treat; it can even be a science experiment. Budding young scientists and science teachers can find a variety of ideas at From chocolate bloom to color separation, there are videos, experiment cards and party ideas posted on the site.

Donate it

Halloween candy can make the holidays brighter for troops serving overseas.

The Blue Star Mothers Miami Valley Chapter in Ohio collected candy, gum and a variety of snacks and treats to fill 1,400 stockings and holiday gift boxes.

“The troops love getting candy, it is such a treat for them,” said Jackie Stafford of the Blue Star Mothers. “We try to collect as much as we can because they don’t get it very often.”

Use it

Candy doesn’t have to be eaten to be enjoyed.

Colorful hard and gummy candies can be used to make candy necklaces, which could be a fun party activity. Details for the craft can be found at

Gumdrops and Life Savers can be used when making a garland for your Christmas tree. Life Savers, which have been around for almost a century, are a crafting mainstay as the sweet treats, first introduced in 1912, can be used in projects ranging from bracelets to mini trains.

So feel free to disregard the saying — “don’t play with your food” when it comes to emptying out the Beggar’s Night bags.