The Food Channel has released its Top Ten Breakfast Trends for 2011. There are some trends like chocolate for breakfast and fast-food restaurants offering more breakfast items that aren’t so impressive. But, there are a few things on the list that show Americans are making some smart choices.

Oatmeal: The whole grain hot cereal came in at number one. Chain restaurants like McDonalds and Starbucks have it on the menu. I had a fabulous oatmeal last week at Le Pain Quotidien in New York City — organic steal cut oats, milk, granola, and stone fruit, and I chose that over the to-die-for pastries. Guess I’m trendy for once. If you want to do oatmeal right, you can follow Mark Bittman’s advice in this video below:

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Coffee: Another trend that’s good is coffee made at home. Making your own coffee will save you a ton of money, and it’s also usually more environmentally friendly to brew your own. There’s much less waste — no disposable cups, stir sticks, creamer containers or sugar packets, and you can chose fair trade, organic coffee.

Second breakfast: This isn’t so smart if you’re eating two Denny’s Grand Slams in the morning, but the trend is to have something small first thing in the morning, perhaps coffee and a banana. Around mid-morning people are eating again, choosing power bars, yogurt, granola and possibly a second coffee. If done smartly, second breakfast can make the most of those mid-morning munchies.

Eggs: The Food Channel sees eggs making a comeback from last year’s recall. My favorite way to eat an egg in the morning is about as simple as it gets. I crack it in a bowl, add a pinch of salt, snip some fresh chives in it, then pour it into a hot pan and scramble it up. Served with fresh fruit on the side, it’s a quick, satisfying, healthy breakfast.

The list is based on research conducted by The Food Channel in conjunction with CultureWaves® , the International Food Futurists® and Mintel International

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