When you eat a meal in the afternoon between lunch and dinner time, what do you call it? Some people refer to it as a snack, while others may call it tea time. However, there is a popular term for this kind of meal that is gaining ground – it’s called a “fourth meal” or “4pm meal”. This type of meal is not as common as breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it’s becoming increasingly popular among people who want to keep their energy levels up and avoid overeating at dinner. In this article, we’ll delve into what exactly a fourth meal is and why it’s becoming a trend in today’s food landscape.
1. Understanding the concept of a 4pm meal
If you’re someone who is used to having a few meals throughout the day, then you’ve probably heard of the idea of a 4pm meal. This particular meal time is less common than others, but nevertheless, it is still important to understand what it means. The 4pm meal is a light snack or a mini-meal that is typically had in the late afternoon, as a way to tide hunger over until dinner time. Although it is not a traditional meal time in most cultures, the 4pm meal has gained popularity across the globe.
2. The origins of the 4pm meal
As mentioned earlier, the concept of a 4pm meal is not something that is commonly practiced in most parts of the world. However, some cultures have their own versions of what this meal time may look like. For instance, in Spain, a light snack is known as “merienda”, and it is typically had in the late afternoon. In India, this meal time is referred to as “chaat time”, and it involves having a small snack along with tea. These are just some examples of how the concept of a 4pm meal has evolved over time and across different cultures.
3. Why have a 4pm meal?
While the idea of a 4pm meal might seem unconventional, it is actually quite beneficial for a number of reasons. Firstly, having a small meal or snack in the late afternoon can help keep hunger pangs at bay until dinner time. This means that you are less likely to overeat during dinner, which is especially important for those who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, choosing healthy snacks for the 4pm meal can provide you with an energy boost to get through the rest of your day.
4. What to eat for a 4pm meal?
The 4pm meal is not intended to be a heavy or large meal, but rather a small snack or mini-meal. When choosing what to eat for the 4pm meal, it is important to choose something that will provide you with the necessary nutrients and energy, while also being easy on your stomach. Some healthy snack options for the 4pm meal include fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, yogurt, whole-grain crackers with hummus, or a protein shake.
5. Importance of portion control
While the 4pm meal is meant to be a small snack or mini-meal, it is still important to practice portion control. This means being mindful of how much you are eating and making sure that you are not consuming too many calories. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a snack that is around 150-200 calories, or about the size of a small apple.
6. The benefits of healthy snacking
Healthy snacking is a great way to keep your energy levels up throughout the day, and the 4pm meal is no exception. Choosing healthy snacks for your 4pm meal can provide you with important nutrients, such as fiber, protein, and vitamins, which can help keep you feeling satiated until dinner time. Additionally, healthy snacking can help prevent overeating during meals, which is beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight.
7. The downsides of unhealthy snacking
While snacking can be a great way to keep your energy levels up, choosing unhealthy snacks can have negative consequences for your health. Snacks that are high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats can lead to weight gain, increased risk of chronic diseases, and a decrease in overall health. It is important to choose healthy snacks for your 4pm meal as opposed to unhealthy ones.
8. 4pm meal ideas for kids
The 4pm meal is not just for adults but can be an important meal time for kids as well. As with adults, the 4pm meal for kids should be a small snack or mini-meal that is healthy and provides important nutrients. Some great 4pm meal ideas for kids include sliced apples with peanut butter, celery sticks with hummus, cheese and crackers, or a smoothie made with fruit and yogurt.
9. Common misconceptions about the 4pm meal
Despite the benefits of a 4pm meal, there are several misconceptions about this meal time. One common misconception is that it is not necessary to have a 4pm meal if you have had a late lunch. However, this is not true, as the 4pm meal can still provide important nutrients and energy for the rest of the day. Another misconception is that the 4pm meal is only necessary for those who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. However, everyone can benefit from a healthy 4pm meal, regardless of their weight.
The 4pm meal may not be a traditional meal time, but it is still important to understand the benefits of having a small snack or mini-meal in the late afternoon. By choosing healthy snacks that provide important nutrients and energy, you can help prevent overeating during dinner and maintain a healthy weight. Remember to practice portion control and avoid unhealthy snacks, as these can have negative consequences for your health. Whether you’re an adult or a kid, the 4pm meal can be an important part of your daily routine.
What are Some Traditional 4pm Meals?
When it comes to 4pm meals, there are various cuisines and dishes to choose from. Here are some of the most popular options:
1. Tea Time in Britain
Tea time is a popular British tradition, which usually takes place around 4pm. The meal typically consists of tea or coffee accompanied by sandwiches, cakes, and other sweet treats. The tradition originated in the 1840s by the Duchess of Bedford, who wanted to stave off her hunger before dinner, which was usually served around 8pm.
2. Merienda in the Philippines
In the Philippines, people usually have merienda, which is a light meal or snack, around 4pm. The meal can consist of a variety of dishes such as pancakes, noodles, sandwiches, and rice cakes. It is meant to provide energy to help tide people over until dinner time.
3. Fika in Sweden
Fika is a Swedish tradition where people pause for a coffee break and have a snack, usually around 4pm. The snack can be anything from sweet buns to savory sandwiches, and the idea is to take a break and chat with friends or co-workers.
4. Tapas in Spain
In Spain, people often have tapas as a late afternoon snack. Tapas are small, savory plates of food such as olives, ham, cheese, and seafood. They are usually eaten with a drink, and the idea is to have a few bites of different dishes to share with friends or family.
5. Afternoon Tea in Japan
Afternoon tea is a popular tradition in Japan, which is influenced by British culture. The meal consists of tea or coffee, sweet treats such as cakes or tarts, and finger sandwiches. It is usually served in upscale hotels and restaurants, and the atmosphere is elegant and refined.
6. Snack time in Mexico
In Mexico, people often have a light snack around 4pm. The meal can consist of quesadillas, tacos, or other savory dishes. Sweet treats such as churros or pastries are also enjoyed, along with a hot beverage such as tea or coffee.
7. Antipasti in Italy
In Italy, antipasti is a popular pre-dinner snack, which is often enjoyed around 4pm. The meal consists of small, savory bites such as cured meats, cheese, olives, and nuts. These are usually accompanied by a glass of wine or a beer.
8. High Tea in Australia
High tea is a popular tradition in Australia, which usually takes place in the afternoon between 3pm and 5pm. The meal consists of tea or coffee accompanied by scones, sandwiches, cakes, and other sweet treats. It is a chance to catch up with friends or family and enjoy a leisurely afternoon.
9. Tiffin in India
In India, tiffin is a mid-day meal, often eaten around 4pm. The meal consists of a variety of dishes such as rice, vegetables, curries, and bread. It is usually packed in a tiffin carrier and taken to work or school.
10. Coffee and Cake in Germany
In Germany, people often enjoy a mid-afternoon snack of coffee and cake, known as “kaffee und kuchen”. The cake can be any variety, from chocolate to fruit flavors, and is usually homemade. The atmosphere is relaxed and cozy, making it a perfect break in the day.
Overall, the 4pm meal is a cultural tradition around the world, where people come together to enjoy a light meal and take a break from their daily routine.
What Are Some Examples of 4pm Meals?
When it comes to meals, it’s important to find the right balance between delicious and healthy so that you feel satisfied without ruining your diet. Here are some examples of 4pm meals that are both tasty and nutritious:
Protein is an essential nutrient that helps you feel full and satisfied, which is why protein-packed snacks are always a great option for a 4pm meal. Some of the best protein snacks include hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks, hummus with veggies, and turkey or beef jerky. These snacks are all high in protein and low in calories, making them the perfect choice for anyone who wants to stay on track with their diet.
Soup and Salad Combo
If you’re looking to fill up without overeating, a soup and salad combo is a great option. Soup is a filling and low-calorie choice that can help curb your hunger, while a salad provides all the fiber and nutrients you need to stay healthy. Some of the best soup and salad combos include tomato soup with a spinach salad, lentil soup with a mixed greens salad, or chicken noodle soup with a Caesar salad.
Pita sandwiches are a tasty and filling option for anyone who wants to enjoy a variety of flavors in one meal. These sandwiches can be filled with anything from hummus and veggies to turkey and cheese, and can be customized to suit any taste preferences. To make the sandwich even healthier, opt for whole wheat pita bread and add plenty of veggies like lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.
Stir-fry bowls are a great choice for anyone who wants to enjoy a balanced and flavorful meal that is easy to prepare. These bowls typically contain a base of grains like rice or quinoa, a protein source like chicken or tofu, and plenty of veggies like broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers. To add even more flavor, top the bowl with a homemade sauce made of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil.
Smoothies are a great way to pack in all the vitamins and nutrients you need in one delicious and refreshing drink. To make a healthy smoothie, use a base of unsweetened almond milk or coconut water and add plenty of fruits and veggies like spinach, kale, banana, and berries. You can also add protein powder or Greek yogurt to make the smoothie more filling and satisfying.
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So, to Wrap it Up…
Thanks for taking the time to read this article on what a 4pm meal is called. Now you know that it’s referred to as either a linner or a dunch, depending on where you live or how you prefer to eat. We hope that our explanation has helped you to understand the different mealtime terms used around the world. Please visit us again soon for more interesting articles. Until next time, enjoy your linner or dunch!
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