A Good Rule of Fist

* Here's a good rule of thumb for kids looking to eat healthy and stay fit: Choose food portions no bigger than your fist.

Also, go for "go foods" such as vegetables and low-fat milk, and save the "whoa foods," such as chips and pizza, for special times.

Those are the major tips from a government panel studying ways to get kids to eat healthier. The group tracked nearly 600 kids ages 8 to 10 for three years before launching its "We Can!" nutrition program yesterday.

The study found that kids (and parents) who were taught simple nutrition facts made healthier choices. Even so, snacks, desserts and pizza made up a surprising one-third of their diets, and they still didn't eat enough fruits and veggies.

An estimated 9 million U.S. children ages 6 to 16 are overweight, the government says. That's 16 percent of those kids.

The panel recommended finding a balance between "go" and "whoa" foods. Save the pancake breakfast for the weekend, for instance. Reach for fruit when it's snack time. Also, limit your video time and play outside regularly.

A Miracle Baby

* Milagros Cerron could be walking by her second birthday. What would be pretty late for most infants would be nothing short of a miracle for Milagros.

Now 13 months old, she was born with a rare condition known as mermaid syndrome. Her legs were connected down to her heels by a sack of tissue and fat. Few newborns with the defect live more than a few hours.

Doctors in Lima, Peru, operated on Milagros for 41/2 hours yesterday, separating her legs. She still faces more surgery, but her mother said she has "great faith" that her daughter will survive the risky treatment.

After all, Milagros is Spanish for "miracles."

Milagros Cerron's legs were separated in a 4 1/2-hour surgery.