A new study suggests that not only is breakfast the most important meal of the day for children, it could also keep the extra pounds at bay.

Published in the July issue of the International Journal of Obesity, the study looked at 68,600 schoolchildren in Hong Kong and found that kids in Grade 4 (aged 9 to 10) who skipped breakfast tended to gain significantly more weight in the next two years compared to classmates who ate breakfast.

The same percentage of boys and girls - five percent - reported skipping breakfast and experienced a greater increase in body mass index by Grade 6 (aged 11 and 12), researchers found in cross-sectional analyses.

Educators have long touted the importance of breakfast in helping with children's school performance. But this latest study shows that starting the day off with a meal has the same benefits for kids as it does for adults: staving off overeating later in the day.

In May, researchers at the University of Missouri also found that tucking into a high protein breakfast increases satiety and reduces hunger throughout the day.

MRI images showed that a protein-packed breakfast reduced the brain signals controlling food motivation and reward-driven behavior.

That study, published in the journal Obesity, suggested that incorporating a protein-rich breakfast could be a simple strategy for people to stay satisfied longer and prevent snacking.

For protein-packed breakfast ideas, visit http://yourhealthychild.net/high-protein-breakfast-ideas-for-kids/.