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What is a 3pm meal called?

Do you ever feel groggy and sluggish by mid-afternoon? It’s no surprise that many of us do. With a long day ahead, you may be thinking about what to eat for your next meal. But what do you call it? Lunch feels too early, and dinner feels too late. Well, there’s an answer to that – a 3pm meal! Let’s explore what this meal is officially called, why it’s important, and some meal ideas for your next afternoon pick-me-up.

The Various Names for a 3pm Meal

Afternoon meals have always been an important part of our daily routine. In fact, the concept of eating “smaller meals more frequently” has been gaining tremendous popularity in recent times. However, what we call our mid-afternoon meals often vary across different regions and cultures.

Let’s take a look at some of the various names for a 3pm meal from around the world.

The British Call It Tea Time

In Britain, the 3pm meal is known as “tea time”. This is a traditional meal that usually consists of savory snacks, sandwiches, tea, and sweet delicacies.

Tea time is a cultural tradition that dates back to the early 19th century when it was initially an hour-long meal served between 3pm and 4pm. Over time, this mealtime has evolved in the UK and now, tea time can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

The Australians Enjoy Their Arvo Snack

In Australia, it is common to refer to the 3pm meal as “arvo snack”. This is a snack break that Australians take in the afternoon, usually around 3pm. It is a casual mid-afternoon meal that they enjoy with their colleagues, friends, or family.

Arvo snacks often include sweet and savory delights like lamingtons, pies, and sausage rolls, accompanied by coffee, tea, or soft drinks.

The Spanish have a Special Word for This Snack

In Spain, the 3pm meal is known as “merienda”. This is a special word that refers to the mid-afternoon snack that is eaten between lunch and dinner.

The merienda is a meal that includes sweet and savory items, pastries, and sandwiches served with coffee, tea, or juice. This is a significant meal for many Spaniards, and it is a cultural tradition that has been passed down for generations.

Latin America Has a Unique Name for This Meal

In Latin America, the 3pm meal is commonly referred to as “onces”. This is a term that originated in Chile and quickly spread throughout the entire continent.

The onces typically include tea, coffee, cocoa, juice, sandwiches, cookies, and pastries, although the items may differ depending on the country and region.

Americans Call It a Snack

In America, the 3pm meal isn’t typically given a specific term, but it is just called a “snack”. This can be a sweet or a savory option, and it is often something small like a granola bar, a piece of fruit, or a handful of nuts.

In recent years, some Americans have started to adopt the British concept of “tea time” and have been taking a more indulgent mid-afternoon break filled with dessert-type delicacies like cakes, pastries, and biscuits.

The Japanese Call it “Oyatsu”

In Japan, the 3pm meal is known as “oyatsu”. This is a word that translates to “snack”, but it commonly refers to the afternoon snack or tea break.

The oyatsu typically includes sweet and savory treats like rice crackers, fruit, nuts, and tea. A Japanese tradition that has been practiced for centuries, oyatsu is a time to sit back and relax after a busy day.

The Germans Enjoy an Afternoon Kaffee und Kuchen

In Germany, the 3pm meal is known as “kaffee und kuchen” which translates to coffee and cake. This is a traditional meal that Germans enjoy in the late afternoon with a cup of coffee.

Kaffee und kuchen is served with a variety of sweet pastries, cakes, or tarts accompanied by a warm cup of coffee or tea.

The French Call It Le Goûter

In France, the 3pm meal is referred to as “le goûter”. This is an afternoon snack that is typically enjoyed by children who have returned from school.

The meal consists of sweet, light, or savory foods alongside hot chocolate, milk, or tea, which is a cultural tradition that has been a part of French culture for generations.

The Greeks Enjoy Their Bougatsa

In Greece, the 3pm meal is known as “bougatsa”. This is a traditional pastry that is enjoyed as a mid-afternoon snack.

Bougatsa consists of phyllo pastry filled with either cheese or custard and topped with cinnamon and sugar.

The Malaysians Have Their Tea Time Too

In Malaysia, the 3pm meal is known as “teh tarik”, a cultural tradition that has roots in Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine.

The menu for teh tarik includes various snacks like sweet pastries, sandwiches, and crispy fried snacks, along with tea and coffee.


As you can see, the 3pm meal is known by various names across the world. Whether you know it as “tea time” or “oyatsu,” this mid-afternoon snack is always an enjoyable part of the day that provides a much-needed boost of energy.

Why is 3pm meal important?

Importance of 3pm meal

As we go about our busy day, it can be easy to overlook the importance of fuelling our body with healthy food. However, when it comes to the 3pm meal, it’s essential not to skip it. Here are 10 reasons why:

1. Helps maintain energy levels

Maintain energy levels

Sometimes, we feel sluggish and tired in the afternoon. This can be due to our body running out of fuel needed to function normally. Having a 3pm meal is a great way to ensure that we have enough energy to get through the rest of the day.

2. Supports better mental clarity

Better mental clarity

Eating at 3pm can help us concentrate and be more productive at work or school. When we don’t eat enough, we typically feel foggy and unable to focus.

3. Boosts metabolism

Boosts metabolism

By feeding our body regularly, we can increase our metabolism, which helps us burn more calories throughout the day. Skipping meals can cause our metabolism to slow down, which can be counterproductive if we’re trying to lose weight.

4. Promotes weight loss

Promotes weight loss

As mentioned earlier, having a 3pm meal can help boost our metabolism, which can result in weight loss. Additionally, when we eat a balanced meal at this time, we’re less likely to overeat later in the evening, which can also aid in weight loss.

5. Helps control blood sugar levels

Helps control blood sugar levels

Eating at regular intervals can help regulate our blood sugar levels. When we go too long without eating, our blood sugar levels can drop, which can lead to symptoms of hypoglycemia, such as shakiness and irritability.

6. Provides essential nutrients

Provides essential nutrients

Having a balanced meal at 3pm means that we’re getting the essential nutrients that our body needs. This can include protein, fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals.

7. Helps us avoid unhealthy snacking

Helps us avoid unhealthy snacking

When we don’t eat enough during the day, we’re more likely to reach for unhealthy snacks later on. Having a 3pm meal can help us avoid this and instead choose healthier options for our body.

8. Improves overall gut health

Improves overall gut health

Eating at regular intervals can promote a healthy gut microbiome, which is essential for overall health. By feeding our gut with healthy, whole foods, we’re able to promote good gut bacterial growth, which can help with digestion and immunity.

9. Reduces the risk of chronic disease

Reduces the risk of chronic disease

When we feed our body with healthy food, we’re reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Eating at 3pm can be a significant step towards improving our overall health and reducing the risk of these diseases.

10. Promotes overall well-being

Promotes overall well-being

Ultimately, having a 3pm meal can be an excellent way to promote overall well-being. By taking care of our body through healthy food choices, we’re able to feel better physically and mentally, which can positively impact all areas of our life.

What are Some Examples of 3PM Meals?

Now that we understand what a 3pm meal is, let’s look at some examples of delicious and nutritious meals that you can enjoy during this time of day.

1. Hummus and Veggies

Hummus is a tasty and filling snack that is rich in protein and fiber. You can dip various veggies into hummus, such as carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers.

Hummus and Veggies

2. Greek Yogurt Parfait

Greek yogurt is a good source of protein, while fruits are rich in antioxidants. By making a parfait, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. To make a Greek yogurt parfait, you can alternate layers of Greek yogurt, granola, and fresh fruits.

Greek Yogurt Parfait

3. Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled chicken is a great source of lean protein, while vegetables are packed with vitamins and fiber. You can combine grilled chicken with greens, such as spinach or kale, and other veggies, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, to make a delicious and nutritious salad.

Grilled Chicken Salad

4. Quinoa Bowls

Quinoa is a versatile grain that is high in protein and fiber. You can make a quinoa bowl by adding quinoa to a bowl and topping it off with various veggies, such as roasted sweet potatoes or sautéed mushrooms, as well as a source of protein, such as tofu or grilled chicken.

Quinoa Bowls

5. Turkey and Avocado Sandwich

By making a sandwich with avocado and turkey, you can get a good dose of healthy fats and lean protein. You can also add veggies, such as lettuce and tomatoes, to make it even more nutritious.

Turkey and Avocado Sandwich

Meal Benefits Calories
Hummus and Veggies High in protein and fiber 120
Greek Yogurt Parfait Good source of protein and antioxidants 200
Grilled Chicken Salad Rich in protein, vitamins, and fiber 300
Quinoa Bowl High in protein and fiber, and versatile 400
Turkey and Avocado Sandwich Source of healthy fats and lean protein 350

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Satisfying your 3pm hunger pangs

Now that we’ve answered the question of what a 3pm meal is called, it’s time to stop and enjoy some delicious food! Whether you call it an afternoon snack, tea time, or just a mini-meal, there are plenty of options available to satisfy your hunger and give you the energy boost you need to power through the rest of your day. Thanks for reading, and be sure to visit us again for more fun and informative articles on food and lifestyle!

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