Too Much Candy?

Published 10:13 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Since there’s a good chance your child brought home as many as 60 pieces of fun-sized candy and chocolate — or even more in some neighborhoods — you might want to have a plan for all the extra candy that goes beyond just letting junior have the whole bag for himself this weekend.

Here’s how to handle that Halloween haul

So your children came home in their zombie-superhero costumes with bags bulging with candy.

Of course, they wanted to sit right down and eat it all on Monday night, but you were able to intervene, terrified of the thought of sugared-up children bouncing off the walls while you tried to get to sleep and then crashing spectacularly right before time to get up for school.

Maybe in the couple of days since they brought home their Halloween hauls, you’ve included a little of that candy in their school lunches, but it doesn’t really seem fair to get the kids all cranked up on sugar at school, either.

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Since there’s a good chance your child brought home as many as 60 pieces of fun-sized candy and chocolate — or even more in some neighborhoods — you might want to have a plan for all the extra candy that goes beyond just letting junior have the whole bag for himself this weekend.

Use moderation

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta looked at the calories, fat and sugar content of a bag of typical Halloween treats and found it to be equivalent to 4,800 calories, one-and-a-half cups of fat and three cups of sugar.

“Allowing your child to consume three cups of sugar is like standing by and watching them eat 200 packets of sugar,” said Dr. Stephanie Walsh, medical director of child wellness at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, which operates three hospitals with more than half a million patient visits annually.

Walsh offered a couple of tips for parents hoping to rein in the negative effects from all that candy:

  • The key word is moderation. Collect the Halloween candy from your kids after trick-or-treating and allow them to have one or two pieces per day.
  • Offer to “buy back” the candy from your kids in exchange for a small toy.
  • Provide plenty of water with the sweets, and set aside time to be active to help burn the extra calories consumed.

Many different uses

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam, who publish the website, admit that it’s hard to ignore the fact that what most people — children and adults — want to do with their candy is to eat it.

But there are ways to make sure that your children’s candy consumption doesn’t cause potentially long-term problems with their health, they advised their fans this week.

For example, parents can stockpile bags of candy to use for school parties, birthday parties and so on. And grandparents can fill a candy jar for when the grandkids come to visit — though that can backfire when frustrated parents call the grandparents to task for sending the children back home on a sugar high.

Cooper and Kellam also offer the following tips:

  • You can freeze candy up to a year in the freezer.
  • Don’t forget to buy discounted Halloween candy for Christmas stockings and parties. Most kids don’t care if their Christmas candy is orange and black or if it has silver and gold wrappers instead of red and green.
  • Use leftover Halloween candy in Christmas baking and for making gingerbread houses.
  • Use grated or chopped chocolate in place of chocolate chips in cookies.
  • It is easier to cut candy into pieces if you freeze it first.
  • Break Butterfinger candy bars into peanut butter cookie dough.
  • Sprinkle chopped chocolates on a white or chocolate frosted cake or use them to top ice cream and cheesecake.
  • Mix leftover chopped chocolates into cake mixes.
  • When making cupcakes, decorate the tops with one Hershey’s kiss or a mini candy bar.
  • Pour some leftover candy into a basket or pretty bowl to give to someone for a special gift.
  • Even a Christmas bag full of an assortment of candies would be a gift that would delight anyone — kids, adults, co-workers or neighbors.
  • When making apple butter, instead of your usual spices use 1/2 cup red cinnamon candies and 1 Tbsp. cinnamon for every 10 cups apples and your regular amount of sugar.

Adopt the troops

Finally, a group called Soldier’s Angels collects candy to send to “adopted” American troops deployed overseas.

“Our military men and women deployed around the world always enjoy candy in their care packages, and this is the perfect time of year for shipping chocolate — the cooler weather means it’s less likely to melt!” the organization’s website,, states.

Children and adults are encouraged to collect the good candy they’re willing to send — no broken or torn wrappers, and no crushed or melted candy — and send it to Soldiers’ Angels, HALLOWEEN CARE, 4408 N PanAm Exprwy, San Antonio, TX 78218.

Stained Glass Cookies
Cut a hole in the center of rolled out sugar cookie dough. Place a hard colored candy into the center. Bake as usual. The candies will create a stained glass look.

Mix leftover candy bars into your milkshakes for an extra kick of sugary goodness.

Candy Bar Milkshakes

  • 1 cup mini candy bars, chopped
  • 2 cups (1 pint) ice cream (chocolate or vanilla)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

Chop candies in a food processor. They are easier to chop if they are partially frozen. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until blended. This makes a thick shake. Add 1/4 cup milk for a thinner shake. Makes 2 milkshakes.

Chocolate Chip Candy Bar Cookies

  • 45 mini Hershey’s candy bars
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Chop candy bars. Cream butter and sugars in a bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Fold in candy bar pieces. Scoop batter onto a greased cookie sheet with a teaspoon. Bake 9-11 minutes until golden. Let rest on cookie sheet 2 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Cool completely. Makes 2-3 dozen.