I love Halloween candy as much as the next person. But I also tend to be that mom โ€” you know, the one who actually stands in the grocery store reading labels and actively trying to limit the amount of sugar her children consume on any given day. Sure, sugar shock is part of the grand Halloween tradition, and I'm not about to deny my children the delightfully nauseating experience, but at some point, enough is enough.

Fortunately, there are several great ways to keep your kids from eating all that candy, and most of them are so entertaining (or rewarding) that your kids won't even complain to see it disappear!

1. Candy Science Experiments

Did you know that you can use leftover candy for educational purposes? Yes, you can actually use your Halloween candy to conduct science experiments. Whether you melt a Starburst or dissolve a pack of Skittles into a rainbow of colored water, you and your children will have fun and learn at the same time. Visit the Candy Experiments website to find tons of experiments you can do in your own home โ€” no science degree required!

2. The Switch Witch

The "Switch Witch" is the newest addition to the long list of stealthy, mythical creatures who visit only when small children are sleeping. Rumor has it that when Halloween candy is left out at night, the Switch Witch flies in on her broomstick, swoops up the sugar, and leaves toys and other healthy treats in its place.

If you like this idea and want to introduce it in your own home, you might consider reading the book The Switch Witch with your kids. And, a true sign of the times, The Switch Witch is also on Twitter โ€” @TheSwitchWitch if you're interested in following her.

3. Donate to the Troops

One of the simplest ways to get rid of your extra loot is to donate it to a worthy cause. For example, Operation Gratitude collects unwanted Halloween candy to include in care packages for deployed U.S. troops. In my hometown of St. Louis, the Delta Dental Health Theatre is partnering with A Soldier's Wish List to host The Great Candy Exchange. At the event, which is being promoted as a way to "fight cavities and send treats to the troops," kids are encouraged to turn in their candy in exchange for prizes and a day full of free fun.

By donating candy to our troops, you'll be fighting cavities by getting the sugar out of your house!! More importantly, you'll be teaching your children an important lesson about sharing, kindness, and gratitude.

4. Use It for Crafts

Halloween leads right into the festive holiday season, so why not put your leftover candy to use by making some fun Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts with it? Make Thanksgiving Candy Favors to share with your Turkey Day guests, or use leftover candy corn to make Thanksgiving decorations like wreaths and centerpieces.

Halloween candy is great for Christmas crafts too! Stash some extra Halloween candy in your freezer and then pull it out when you need treats for your homemade Advent or Christmas Countdown Calendar, or when you're ready to decorate holiday gingerbread houses.

5. Eat the Candy Yourself

This is not the smartest method, but if we're being completely honest, it is the one that I use most frequently. The big stash of candy gets tossed up on the highest shelf in my kitchen, and my kids eventually forget about it. I, unfortunately, do not.

Yes, those extra Snickers will show up around my waistline, and no, the sugar isn't good for me either. But I figure better me than them, right? After all, isn't making sacrifices for your children what being a parent is all about? Hiding in the pantry and eating the leftover candy is really just my way of showing my kids how much I care.

Do you let your kids eat all of the candy they get from trick-or-treating? Or do you draw the line somewhere? How much is too much?