New ideas for leftover holiday candy

Use these tips to share and make use of leftover candy in healthy ways.

December 28, 2017 - Author: Laura Anderson, Michigan State University Extension

Candy corn, bite-size candy bars, chewy sour candies, candies that are sweet but tart and just chocolate in general. Holiday candy can be found in almost every store secretly inviting you to pick up a bag or two. If you can resist opening a bag to test prior to the holiday, you still may have to endure the many treats available at work and in stores. Donuts, caramel apples, and fancy fall coffee drinks can really be a challenge to avoid, especially if you are a person that loves sweet foods.

A couple of ideas to consider trying:

  1. Do not shop while you are hungry. Eat a light snack before going to the store. This can be a handful of nuts, fruit or a piece of cheese.
  2. Do not buy the tempting food or only buy one piece. This can include buying only one donut, one caramel apple or a small special coffee drink made with skim milk and minus the whipped cream.
  3. Do not go into the break room at work. Take your break outside. Or, if the weather isn’t nice, take it in another area of the office.
  4. Enjoy the many activities during the holidays instead of focusing on the food. This can include skiing and shopping.

What do you do after the holidays when there is leftover candy? Here are some things to consider with some of the ideas from MyFitnessPal:

  1. If you’re a parent, limit the amount your kids can have in a day.
  2. Place the candy out of sight.
  3. Make trail mix. In place of the chocolate chips, use small chocolate candies, gummy candies, sweet and sour candies mixed with a homemade trail mix. Use seeds, nuts and dried fruit as the base and then add in some of the candy. This allows the family to have the candy mixed with healthy choices.
  4. Add leftover candy into a homemade oat bar – try this no-bake granola bar recipe from the Lean Green Bean.
  5. Get the candy out of the house. Consider taking it to your dentist, a local charity or even sending it overseas. Search “Operation Attitude Halloween” or “Operation Shoebox” on the internet.
  6. Freeze your leftover candy to enjoy during the next holiday.

 For more information about healthy lifestyles, please visit Michigan State University Extension.

Tags: food & health, msu extension, nutrition, weight management

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