Keep the holidays happy for your family by avoiding some common household hazards.
No, poinsettias won’t kill you – though eating them could cause mild stomach upset, the experts say – and mistletoe is minimally toxic, with no adverse effects for most people.
But holly and mistletoe berries can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested; pyracantha berries are a safer substitute.
Pine needles can get stuck in the throat and cause choking in small children and pets, so keep them swept up. And don’t let babies chew on foil wrapping paper; it may contain lead.
» Find more home and garden ideas in Sunday’s Today section.
Hot drinks can be warming in the winter, but also loaded with calories, fat and sugar. Some suggestions from nutrition experts:
• Hot chocolate and eggnog still taste great with low-fat or skim milk instead of whole. You can also use egg substitutes in eggnog.
• Look for hot chocolate mixes with dark chocolate as the first ingredient; they have more flavonoids, compounds that can reduce inflammation linked to heart disease.
• Beware of mulled wine; a 5-ounce glass of the sweetened, spiced stuff has about 175 calories, compared to about 125 in a glass of regular red wine.
• Hold the toppings. Cutting whipped cream from a drink such as peppermint mocha can save 60 to 70 calories and 6 to 7 grams of fat.
» Find more health and fitness tips in Tuesday’s Today section.
Whether you’re looking for a fast party dish or just a quick dinner, chili made with pork tenderloin is a healthy, hearty option. For the recipe, see page C7.
» Find more recipes and restaurant news in Wednesday’s Food section.
Here’s what’s on the schedule for this week:
On CD (Tuesday)
Michael Jackson, “MICHAEL”
Crystal Bowersox, “Farmer’s Daughter”
R. Kelly, “Love Letter”
Perry Como, “The Complete Christmas Collection”
On DVD (Tuesday)
“The Other Guys”
“Nanny McPhee Returns”
In theaters (Friday)
“How Do You Know” (comedy/drama)
“Tron Legacy” (sci-fi action)
“Yogi Bear” (animated)
“The Biggest Loser”: A loser, er, winner is crowned in the two-hour season finale. (Tuesday, 9 p.m., NBC)
“Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir”: Natalie Cole joins the heavenly choir for its annual holiday concert. (Wednesday, 8 p.m., PBS)
“A Charlie Brown Christmas”: A scruffy tree teaches the true meaning of the holiday in this 1965 animated classic. (Thursday, 8 p.m., ABC)
“Christmas in Washington”: Ellen DeGeneres hosts the Beltway bash featuring Mariah Carey, Miranda Cosgrove and Matthew Morrison (“Glee”). (Friday, 8 p.m., TNT)
Singing Nuns, “Christmas Presence”: Wednesday-Thursday, Bing Crosby Theater
“The Nutcracker”: Ballet Memphis/Spokane Symphony, Friday-Sunday, INB Performing Arts Center
“Plaid Tidings”: Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre, Friday-Sunday, Schuler Auditorium
Fantasy Cruise to the North Pole: Daily through Jan. 2, Coeur d’Alene Resort
Kris Kringle Market: Tuesday and Saturday, Old School House, Loon Lake
Sports Connection Gun Show: Saturday-Sunday, Kootenai County Fairgrounds
» Find a full arts and entertainment roundup in the Thursday and Friday Today sections.