5 Healthy Alternatives for Trick-or-Treaters This Halloween

5 Healthy Alternatives for Trick-or-Treaters This Halloween

Written by Lisa Axelrad, Certified Nutrition Counselor and Fitness Specialist

As more and more research continues to be released about the dangers and major downfalls of overloading our children with added sugars and processed ingredients, Halloween always becomes a bit of an obstacle. Many of us still want to make the holiday just as fun for our children and community, but how do we do that without having to succumb to the pressures of giving out sugar-filled, calorie packed, Halloween baskets?!

Here’s a quick list of 5 Halloween Basket Treats that will leave kids happy and satisfied:

1)   Magic Straws

One proven way to get kids to drink their milk is to flavor it, but regular flavored milk can be packed with added sugars. Got Milk? Magic Straws comes in many great flavors and transform plain milk to flavored with just 1 tsp (17 calories) per straw. Magic Milk Straws are a fun, mess-free way to enjoy a cold glass of milk. The rich, all-natural cocoa, strawberry, vanilla and cookies and cream flavored milk straws magically transform milk into a delicious (and nutritious!) treat.

2)   Healthy Squeezers

Look for fruit-based options that have kid appeal, too. Fruit Squeezers by Nature’s Child that feature kid cartoons on each package, like Dora and SpongeBob, and are made from 100-percent fruit without any added sugars. Each pouch has 60 calories, is a good source of vitamin C and counts as a fruit serving.

  3)   Halloween-themed Toys

The best treat yet: Toys! According to a study done by Yale University* children are just as excited to get toys on Halloween as they are about candy. Scary stickers, temporary tattoos and glow sticks are just a few ideas of some fun basket stuffers that kids would love on Halloween.

4)   TrailMix

Nuts are a great snack to keep tiny tummies satisfied with the fiber and protein they provide. Since nuts are high in calories, look for the single-serve packages that keep calories in check. For example, Trader Joe’s offers individual packs on Omega Trail Mix, offering tons of nutrients in an easy-to-eat packet of trail mix ingredients.

5) RABARimages-1

At first glance, these on-the-go snack bars are definitely high in sugar. But the important thing is they are packed with all natural sugars from natural food sources. Apple Pie, Banana Bread and Pumpkin Pie are all great, delicious flavors of the season, and they come in lots of exciting colors.

For more information on how to keep a healthy lifestyle with our top Wellness Professionals, give us a call at (800) 507-2634 for you Complimentary Nutrition Screening! Have a Healthy and Safe Halloween!

Visit us online at: http://ptsolutionsla.com/ and http://stayfitla.com/

*Source: Schwartz, MB. “Trick, treat or toy: Children are just as likely to choose toys as candy on Halloween.” Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2003 Jul-Aug.


October 15, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Results of our August Fundraiser: Thank you Thank you from the bottom of our Hearts!

The outpour of love and generosity was more than we expected during our August fundraiser for sweet baby Eddie.

His Mother was shocked and elated to hear the great news when we called to tell her how much we were able to raise! The funds raised will go toward supporting Eddie’s healing process. A check was made out to him and mailed to him today!

View  this video for a special message from Eddie’s Mom to those who donated.

September 6, 2013. Tags: , , , , , . Events. 1 comment.

August 2013 Fund Raiser for Sweet Baby Eddie

Here is what Eddie’s Mom posted on his Facebook Fan page in response to our fund raiser video:

Dr Flores and EddieMonday 8/5/13:  “Eddie’s mamma here. Early day 48. I want to post this message as a sincere and true thanks to Dr. Yvette Flores, DPT. As some of you know, Eddie was born with severe congenital torticollis and plagiocephaly. He had to start intense physical therapy at 6 weeks old, and went through 4 cranial bands to help support his cranial bone growth and alignment. Dr. Yvette Flores was a godsend. She has such a gift for working with kids and was amazing with Eddie. He actually had recently “graduated” from the torticollis recovery program in May. Dr. Flores is amazing, and if anybody needs a physical therapist, especially for your child, she is the only one I would recommend to anyone. This is a video of her, promoting a fundraising event for Eddie through her clinic. I just want to say thank you so much Yvette, from the bottom of my heart, not only for how much you have already done for Eddie since he was born, but how devoted you are in your prayers and support for what is going on after his tragic accident. This is a short video she made for her patients announcing a special fundraising event for Eddie during the month of August. She pointed out Eddie’s favorite toy he always wanted to play with, which was this toy police car, that we’d always have to use as our PT tool. Thank you Dr. Flores for what you have already done for my son, for your dedication to your work, and your passion for the children you work with. You will always be part of our family! And thank you so much for reaching out asking for help for Eddie during this horrible nightmare! We love you and can’t wait to visit when this is all over! I know Eddie will be looking for that police car toy, so you better have it ready! 😉 xo”

A message to patients of PT Solutions from Eddie’s Mom:

“This is the video that Dr. Yvette Flores posted about Eddie and helping to raise funds for his current needs…. if you are a patient of Dr. Flores’s and have been following Eddie’s story, please at least send prayers. You are not obliged to do anything above that, but if you feel called to help monetarily, then know that we are extremely grateful!! Just thank you for all your support, and thank you Dr. Flores for being a vehicle for the emotional and communal support we need right now! I truly love you Yvette!”

To follow Eddie’s updates, visit his Facebook page: PrayforSweetEddie or click below:


August 5, 2013. Tags: , . Events, Newsletter Spotlights. Leave a comment.

PT Solutions Has 100% Success Rate w/ Early Intervention for Infants With Flat-Head Syndrome

Check out our CBS 2 Feature on Dr. Yvette Flores, PT, DPT, aired on 4/30/13

May 1, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Early Head Start, Events, FYI's for New Parents, Welcome New Parents!. Leave a comment.

CBS News Covers Plagiocephaly and Features PT Solutions’ Pediatric Specialist, Dr. Yvette Flores, PT, DPT, CSCS

This Tuesday, April 30th at 11pm on CBS 2, news reporter Kristine Lazar will be covering the topic of plagiocephaly. This segment features Dr. Flores and a few of our patients and we wanted to make sure you all had the opportunity to tune in!

Feel free to share this useful information with other new parents to help spread awareness of how to prevent plagiocephaly in newborns. If you happen to miss it, don’t worry. The segment will be archived at http://cbsla.com the following day.

Thank you and have a great day! 🙂

April 29, 2013. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Plagiocephaly Prevention

FAQ: Flat Head Syndrome aka ‘Plagiocephaly’

1. What is plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome?
Plagiocephaly refers to a deformity of the skull in which one side is more developed in the front, and less developed in the rear. It generally occurs in newborns and infants. In severe cases, it can cause facial asymmetries; on the less developed rear side (flat side), the face & forehead can look more prominent, the ear can be positioned more forward than the other and the eye on that side can appear larger.


2. How does plagiocephaly happen?
Plagiocephaly results when repeated prolonged pressure is placed on one side of the back of the skull, causing that part of the skull to be pushed inward at the point of contact. This usually occurs during the most malleable period of skull development, from birth to 5 months of age and happens when a newborn/ infant prefers turning their head toward one side more so than the other. Over time, the back of the skull on the favored side starts to deform, typically appearing flat behind the back of the ear. As this part flattens, the front part of the skull (forehead) begins to bulge out, as if the whole side of the skull shifted forward from back to front.


3. What causes a newborn/ infant to favor turning their head to one side?
Tight neck muscles on one side typically cause a newborn/ infant to turn their head away from that tight side in an effort to get comfortable and avoid a ‘pulling sensation’ caused by turning their head toward any tightness. In severe cases, the positional favoring becomes habitual over time, which can then result in accelerated and severe head flattening.Head Flattening Diagram

4. How do I know if my child is at risk?
There are several distinguishable risk factors to help a parent determine if their newborn is at risk of developing plagiocephaly. If newborns are positive in 3 or more of the following risk factors, an early prevention physical therapy evaluation is recommended to help parents prevent plagiocephaly.

Risk factors include:

  1. First pregnancy/ delivery (intra-uterine constraint)
  2. Abnormalities of uterus such as shape, size or intra-uterine space (intra-uterine constraint)
  3. Awkward fetal positioning during last trimester such as breeched, transverse or diagonal (intra-uterine constraint)
  4. Multiple birth (intra-uterine constraint)
  5. Long Labor/ Difficulty pushing/ Baby positioned low for a long period of time or stuck in birth canal (intra-uterine constraint/ traumatic birth)
  6. Emergency C-section delivery (traumatic birth)
  7. Use of force or tools to remove baby from birth canal (traumatic birth)
  8. Premature delivery followed by a stay in the NICU (traumatic birth, premature ability to turn head- prolonged contact pressure on skull)
  9. Delivery greater than 40 wks (intra-uterine constraint)
  10. Larger than average head size and/or longer than average body length at birth (intra-uterine constraint)
  11. Newborn/ Infant sleeps well: > 6 – 12 hrs at a time without turning head side to side (prolonged contact pressure on skull)
  12. Newborn/ Infant has low tolerance for awake tummy time and so does not engage in frequent daily tummy time activities (prolonged contact pressure on skull)

5. What can I do to prevent head flattening in my newborn/ infant?
Review the above risk factors to determine if your child is at risk and if so, schedule an early intervention examination & consultation with a pediatric physical therapy specialist. The ideal age for this screen is 6 to 10 weeks of age. In severe cases, head deformation can be seen as early as 4 weeks of age but on average is seen by 12 weeks of age. If your child is not at risk, just remain mindful and make sure to alternate head position during sleep in combination with increasing bouts of daily awake tummy time for best practices.

6. What can I do to improve existing head flattening?

Time is of the essence as head flattening can get worse over time and more difficult to correct the older the child gets.  Physical therapy intervention is the ideal solution for helping parents correct existing head flattening as well as correcting the ‘root cause’ of the flattening, and the sooner the better.

Initiate Physical Therapy early Successful Correction of Head Flatness w/ PT alone Likelihood of needing helmet therapy
4 wks to 12 wks old: IDEAL AGE 90 – 100% success rate Not likely
4 mos to 5 mos old 75% – 100% success rate Possibly but depends on severity of plagiocephaly & root cause
> 5 to 6 mos old 50% -100% success rate Likely but depends of severity of plagiocephaly, root cause & habitual favoring

There is a significantly high success rate improving head flattening with physical therapy alone if initiated within 4 wks to 12 wks old because there is greater compliance with sleep positioning techniques, minimal to no habitual side favoring has formed yet and the overall ease of stretching exercises is greatest when the child is smallest.  If therapy is initiated past 4 to 5 months of age, the success rate of just physical therapy alone decreases but depends on how severe the flattening is and how severe the cause of the flattening is.  Habitual favoring tends to develop from here on out, which is extremely difficult to correct.  The older they get, the more engrained their habitual preferences become, and the harder it is for therapists and parents to correct due to resistance.  In cases of moderate to severe head flattening in infants older than 5 months, helmet therapy is usually recommended along with physical therapy.

7. Does my child need to get a helmet to correct head flattening?
According to pediatric cranial specialists, the helmet does its best work when placed on a child anytime between 5 months to 8 months of age. Children diagnosed with moderate/severe to severe plagiocephaly at 5 months of age are recommended to do helmet therapy if they didn’t start PT yet, started PT late or progress with PT alone has been minimal. However, children that are 5 months of age, demonstrating consistent improvements in head shape with early physical therapy and repositioning, have the option of waiting one to two more months to see how much more progress can be made before considering helmet therapy.

8. Can head flattening return or worsen again?
Yes but that depends. If your child completed helmet therapy early with no physical therapy intervention, the underlying cause of the flattening can still be present; habitual favoring can still be an issue and flattening of the same spot can re-occur. The skull is pliable (moldable) up to 12 months of age, at which point it begins to harden. After 12 months of age, there is a high likelihood that any residual flattening will carry over into adulthood.

9. Can I see a physical therapy specialist without getting a referral from my child’s pediatrician?

Yes. In the state of California, patients do not need a physician’s referral or prescription to complete a physical therapy evaluation. If your child is a candidate for a physical therapy program, your physical therapist can work with you to request your pediatrician’s signature on their report of findings & recommendations, which then serves as a prescription for PT.

10. Can I request to have my child participate in a program of physical therapy from my child’s pediatrician?
Yes. At any given time, parents can always insist on a physical therapy evaluation and treatment program. Your therapist will need to submit strong evidence that warrants physical therapy intervention in order for your pediatrician to sign off on a program of care after the initial evaluation.

11. Does plagiocephaly affect brain function?
No. Plagiocephaly has not been associated with affecting brain or cognitive development.

12. Does plagiocephaly affect anything serious aside from being cosmetic?
Significant cases of plagiocephaly are usually associated with neck muscle imbalance: tightness and/or weakness of neck muscles on one side, resulting in the positional favoring. We have seen one newborn case where one eye was closed/ shut due to the extreme head deformation. In this case, the newborn was able to open his eye after 2 weeks of initiating physical therapy. In other severe cases, we have seen TMJ asymmetries where one side of the jaw didn’t open as wide as the other, affecting ability to latch on when feeding. The most common health limitations seen in toddlers and young children with persistent neck muscle imbalances & misshapen heads are gross motor developmental delays: delayed acceptance of tummy time, delayed rolling, crawling, asymmetrical crawling, delayed walking, asymmetrical walking and premature favoring of limbs on one side of the body.

13. Can early prevention and physical therapy prevent gross motor delays?
Absolutely. Physical Therapy head & neck specialists can improve neck and body muscle imbalance before the child starts to develop asymmetrical gross motor movements and preferences. Your physical therapist should design a comprehensive program of improving head shape, correcting the underlying cause and preventing gross motor asymmetries and delays, to be completed within 3 to 5 months with the end result being: normalized head shape, facial symmetry, body symmetry, full neck muscle balance and age-appropriate gross motor function.

There is a significantly high success rate improving head flattening with physical therapy alone if initiated within 4 wks to 12 wks old because there is greater compliance with sleep positioning techniques, minimal to no habitual side favoring has formed yet and the overall ease of stretching exercises is greatest when the child is smallest.  If therapy is initiated past 4 to 5 months of age, the success rate of just physical therapy alone decreases but depends on how severe the flattening is and how severe the cause of the flattening is.  Habitual favoring tends to develop from here on out, which is extremely difficult to correct.  The older they get, the more engrained their habitual preferences become, and the harder it is for therapists and parents to correct due to resistance.  In cases of moderate to severe head flattening in infants older than 5 months, helmet therapy is usually recommended along with physical therapy.

April 16, 2013. Early Head Start, FYI's for New Parents. Leave a comment.

Parent Testimonial of the Day!

“Muchas gracias a la Doctora Flores y atodo el personal que le dio un trato espectacular a mi sobrina. Y por su puesto que sin pensarlo los recomendaria. Gracias.” – N. Sims, Los Angeles

March 22, 2013. Tags: , . Testimonials. Leave a comment.

Happy International Women’s Day!

In honor of women’s health on this International Women’s Day, check out the following guidelines and make sure the women in your life stay up-to-date with regular health exams!

Preventive Health Screenings for Women

Article from HealthyWomen.Org

Be proactive about your health by staying on top of necessary screenings and health care visits. This schedule is a suggested timeline for routine screenings. Talk with your health care provider for specific personal guidance. More frequent screenings may be recommended based on your personal health history.

General Health
What When Why
Physical examination Every 2–3 years; discuss with your health care provider. To screen for diseases; assess risk for future problems; discuss lifestyle habits; and keep vaccinations up to date.
Thyroid test Discuss with your health care provider. To identify an under- or overactive thyroid, both of which are very treatable and either of which can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated.
Bone Health
What When Why
Bone mineral density test At least once beginning at age 65; earlier depending on your risk factors for osteoporosis. There are no obvious signs of osteoporosis until you fracture a bone. Bone density screenings identify problems early, enabling you to start treatment and prevent further bone loss.
Breast Health
What When Why
Mammogram Every 1–2 years starting at age 40. To identify possible early signs of breast cancer.
Clinical breast exam About every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s, and every year for women 40 and over. Not all breast cancers are found on mammograms; a good clinical breast exam can also help identify cancers relatively early.
Colorectal Health
What When Why
Colonoscopy Every 10 years starting at age 50. Alternatively, you may get a flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years or a double-contrast barium enema every 5 years or a CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years, but a colonoscopy will be needed if any of those results are positive. To identify (and remove) precancerous polyps or early cancers.
Fecal occult blood test (also called stool guaiac test) or fecal immunochemical test or stool DNA test Annually starting at age 50 for the fecal occult blood test or the fecal immunochemical test; stool DNA test may be given at intervals recommended by your doctor. To provide an early warning sign about colon cancer. Not as good as a colonoscopy in identifying cancers or precancerous cells.
Digital rectal exam Starting at age 50, every 5–10 years with each colon screening. To help find early signs of colon cancer in the anal canal and lower rectum. Because of its limitations, it is not recommended as the only test for colorectal cancer.
What When Why
Fasting plasma glucose test (also called blood glucose test) Every three years starting at age 45; more often or earlier if you’re overweight or at risk for diabetes. To provide an early warning sign of high blood sugar levels, which could mean an increased risk for diabetes.
Eye, Ear and Teeth Health
What When Why
Eye exam At least once from ages 20 to 29; at least two exams between ages 30 and 39. At age 40, get a baseline eye disease screening. Based on results, follow ophthalmologist’s recommendations until age 65. After that, complete eye exam every one to two years. To test your vision and screen for glaucoma and macular degeneration, two common, often age-related conditions.
Hearing test Beginning at age 18, then once every 10 years until age 50, after which it should be once every three years. To make sure you’re hearing all life has to offer.
Dental exam and cleaning At least once a year; twice a year is best. To remove plaque and bacteria that could lead to tooth and gum disease; to check for tongue and mouth cancer. Problems with your teeth can indicate osteoporosis.
Heart Health
What When Why
Blood pressure screening At least every 2 years in your health care professional’s office. The only way to identify hypertension is with blood pressure screenings.
Cholesterol screening Every 5 years starting at age 35. Begin screening at age 20 if you smoke, are obese, have diabetes or high blood pressure or have a family history of heart disease. Treating cholesterol abnormalities can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Reproductive/Sexual Health
What When Why
Pap test and pelvic exam Every 2 years from ages 21-30; every 2-3 years for women age 30 and older who have had 3 consecutive normal Pap tests. Screening may be stopped at age 65 or 70 for women who have 3 or more normal Pap tests in a row and no abnormal test results in 10 years. If you have had your cervix and uterus removed, ask your health care provider if you need to continue screening. To screen for abnormalities that could indicate pre- or early cervical cancer.
HPV test Every 2–3 years along with Pap test starting at age 30 (and in younger women with inconclusive Pap tests). Helps identify women at risk for developing cervical cancer.
Chlamydia test Yearly until age 25 if sexually active; for age 26 and older, get the test if you have new or multiple sexual partners. Prevents spread of chlamydia.
Sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening All sexually active women and their partners should be tested for HIV and other STDs before starting sexual activity. Prevents spread of HIV and other STDs, many of which can only be detected through testing.
Skin Health
What When Why
Skin exam by a doctor Talk to your health care provider about what’s right for you. If you have risk factors for skin cancer, your health care provider may recommend periodic skin exams. To track worrisome moles and identify skin cancer early.
Skin self-exam Monthly skin exam starting at age 18. To know your own skin and be able to report changes to your health care provider.
What When Why
Influenza (flu) vaccine Annually for everyone 6 months and older. Protection again some flu viruses (will include H1N1 starting in fall 2010).
Hepatitis A Given in 2 doses, 6-18 months apart, to children 1 year of age and to adults at risk or who want protection from hepatitis A. Protects against hepatitis A, a serious liver disease that can cause flu-like illness, jaundice and severe stomach pains and diarrhea.
Hepatitis B Given to children at birth in 3 doses at 0, 1 and 6 months. Also given to children or adults who weren’t vaccinated and are at risk for hepatitis B, such as health care workers. Protects against hepatitis B, a serious liver disease that can develop into a chronic infection.
Herpes zoster Once only at age 60 or older. Shingles prevention.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) Age 11–12 or 13–26 if not previously vaccinated; 3 doses at 0-, 2- and 6-month intervals; no booster necessary. Protects against four common types of HPV, including the two most likely to cause cervical cancer.
Pneumonia Once only at age 65 or older. Protects against pneumonia.
Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Td/Tdap) Every 10 years. Protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
Meningococcal College freshmen, military recruits and other at-risk persons; discuss with your health care provider. Protects against some types of meningococcal disease (meningitis).
Varicella (chickenpox) Given in 2 doses at 0- and 4- to 8-week intervals to those 19 or older who have not been vaccinated or had chickenpox. Protects against chickenpox, a usually mild but highly contagious childhood disease, which can be serious in infants and adults.

March 8, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , . FYI's for New Parents, Just For Moms, Women, Women's Health. Leave a comment.

Thank you to the Parents, Patients & Santa Monica Affiliates for your Generosity!

February 7, 2013. Tags: , , , , . Events. Leave a comment.

It is rewarding helping Mom’s and their babies with PT!

Here is what a Mom recently posted about us on Yelp:

“The highly noted Dr Graham (out of Cedar Sinai) recommended PTSolutions when he examined my son at 2 months and found a moderate-severe Torticollis. I called PTSolutions that very day and they got me in immediately. Dr. Flores recommended a twice weekly program plus exercises at home. She worked with my son regularly over the next several months and his Torticollis went away. He still had to wear the helmut but when I went back to Dr. Graham he was exceptionally impressed with the work Dr. Flores had accomplished and that the Torticollis was gone! My son LOVES Dr. Flores. He was always happy to be at PTS and always comfortable with the very helpful staff!

BTW – I liked how much Dr. Flores was invested in helping my son that I asked her to look at me and my neck/shoulder issues. She set up a program for me and has dramatically helped me improve my strength and ability to lift my son. A miracle after all the other failed physically therapy places I’d been.

This is a highly professional facility that is INVESTED in YOUR recovery! My highest recommendations and a heartfelt thank you to this great place!” Alex. S. West Hollywood, CA

We strive for moments like this, impacting the lives of families on a daily basis. What a joy!

December 5, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Testimonials. Leave a comment.

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