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Breakfast 101: Tips and trends for the most important meal of the day

It was a pleasure to chat with celebrity Chef Mark Bailey to get his tips, tricks and trends for breakfast. Chef Bailey is the author of the upcoming book “Cooking in Boxers” and is a breakfast guru so there is no one better to chat with about the meal that most agree is the most important of the day.

Mark Bailey's Upcoming Book "Cooking in Boxers"
Mark Bailey

He has great tips for adults to spice up their breakfast, while also giving great tips for kids. I, especially, love the tips for kids since it's back-to-school time! Don't miss his trends either. Um flavored syrup? I got a chance to try several flavors he whipped up and they were great.

Note: These tips work for vegetarians and can be made vegan as well.

Easy Adult Breakfast Tips

1. Don't Forget the Herbs. Breakfast is about combining small ingredients that pack big flavors. Adding herbs (i.e. basil, rosemary) to your morning eggs/tofu scramble is a simple and great way to wake up those taste buds.

2. Easy Casseroles - Make casserole breakfast recipes that can be easily prepped the night before and then tossed in the oven the next morning. A French Toast Bake is an easy way to keep things simple in the morning.

3. Breakfast Skillets - Combining your favorite breakfast ingredients in one skillet makes for an easy breakfast. It also makes for an easy cleanup post-breakfast.

4. Easy Toppings - Toppings can turn your ordinary breakfast to something extraordinary. Scrambled eggs or tofu topped with a mango salsa or pancakes topped with sautéed apples are easy ways to spruce up your breakfast.

Easy Breakfast Tips For Kids

1. Colorful Foods - Kids loves colorful foods. Adding a little food coloring to your pancake batter makes breakfast fun and more enjoyable for kids to eat.

2. Bring Arts & Craft To the Breakfast Table - Using cookie cutters to turn French Toasts into Mickey Mouse, star or alphabet shapes is a sure fire way to get kids to eat their breakfast.

3. Fruit Toppings - Kids love fruit. Decorating hot cereal with apple, peach or banana slices is an easy way to get your little ones to eat their breakfast.

4. Finger Foods - Kids love to eat with their hands. So focus on making the meal finger-friendly. French toast sticks, bacon strips and hard-boiled eggs are great examples.

5. DIY Breakfasts - Kids will eat anything they create. A breakfast sundae bar complete with granola, yogurt (dairy or soy) and fruit gives kids the chance to make their own sundae they will enjoy.

Breakfast Trends

1. Dinner Approach To Breakfast - The same effort put into creating dinner menus are now being put into breakfast. Breakfast is no longer a one course meal. A breakfast starter like a berry bruschetta can now be followed by a main course and a dessert.

2. Liquid Breakfast - Drinking your breakfast is on the rise as restaurants are now offering green juices, mango shakes and malted chai drinks to start the day.

3. Syrup Is Now The Star - More and more attention is being placed on the syrup instead of the pancake or waffle. Organic, vanilla and smoked syrups have taken morning's favorite sweet to new levels.

4. Egg and Cheese Upgrade - Egg and Cheese (or tofu and vegan cheese) breakfast sandwiches are now being taken up a notch with the addition of veggies you may only usually think of as dinner side dishes like brussels sprouts or asparagus.

5. Coffee Based Cocktails - Move over mimosas! Coffee-based cocktails that include chocolate-hazelnut liqueurs, aged rum and stouts are now on the rise.

Who is Chef Bailey?

Chef Mark Anthony Bailey is a chef, cookbook author and on-camera expert. Born in the Bronx to Jamaican parents, Mark is no stranger to home cooked flavorful meals, rich in spices. Raised in the diverse city of New York exposed a young Mark to an array of different cuisines to include Asian, Latin-Caribbean and Southern/Soul.

In 2008, Mark followed his passion for all things food and became a private chef. A self-proclaimed breakfast guru, Mark penned a breakfast-in-bed cookbook, 'Cooking In Boxers with Chef Bailey: 50 Ways To Keep Your Mate In Bed'. The decision to pursue a culinary career culminated in a 2011 appearance on TLC's 'Leave It To Niecy' with comedian/actress, Niecy Nash. Also, that year Mark appeared on Oxygen's 'Girlfriend Confidential LA' with actress/model, Eva Marcille.

With his simple cooking philosophy, 'If you can eat, you can cook', Mark joined forces with eHow.com in 2012 as an on-camera expert conducting recipe demonstrations. Mark has also had regular appearances on CBS' 'Live From The Couch'. He's also been featured on WPIX, Fox 5 NY, Arise TV's 'Arise Entertainment 360'.

Mark is currently a private chef based in New York.