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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Woman eating a healthy salami and tomato salad
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10 Healthy Lunch Ideas across the World [Slideshow]

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When it comes to getting creative about lunch ideas, this slideshow won’t disappoint. If you’ve ever been curious about what people from around the world eat during their lunch break, look no further. Just a spoiler alert, your cold sandwich is about to look dismal. Get a GR8 dose of inspiration from around the world to elevate your lunch game.

Japanese Bento Box filled with sushi, seaweed salad, and tempura veggies
Image by Magdanatka / Shutterstock
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Japan: Bento Box

Filled with sushi, seaweed salad, and tempura veggies, Japanese bento boxes are too pretty to eat. Easily transportable, bento boxes have everything you’ll need to get you through the day. Luckily, for those of us outside of Japan, the bento box lunch idea is catching up and available in many restaurants across the world.

Costa Rican Gallo Pinto with fried plantains, rice and beans, and pork or chicken
Image by Bryce Jackson / Shutterstock
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Costa Rica: Gallo Pinto

This is my absolute favorite. If you want to talk about a complete meal, the traditional Costa Rican breakfast/lunch hybrid is what you need. Fried plantains, rice and beans, and either pork or chicken, accompanied by bread and salad. Feeling full already?

A plate of Kenyan Stews made from meat, potatoes, and vegetables served with ugali
Image by Ryco Montefont / Shutterstock
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Kenya: Stews

Imagine having a homemade meal every lunch. Well, Kenyans get to enjoy this every afternoon. Stews made from meat, potatoes, and vegetables served with ugali (corn flour porridge), chapatis (flatbread), or rice are the go-to lunch plan in Kenya.

Pots and pans filled with Indian Tiffin Lunch including rice, curry, and vegetables
Image by StockImageFactory / Shutterstock
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India: Tiffin Lunches

Where have these containers been my entire life? Tiffin lunches include rice, Indian bread, vegetable curry, pickles, and dal. Each one set in an individual container perfectly stacked one over the other. When it comes to meal planning, Indian tiffin lunches take the gold medal.

plates of Italian pasta with a bowl of shaved Parmesan cheese
Image by Bruna Branco / Unsplash
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Italy: Pasta

A traditional Italian lunch starts with pasta or risotto, moving on to the second course of fish or meat with vegetables or salad. Yes, Italians have second courses during lunch. How? Well, about 74.3% of Italians eat lunch at home, and most of them have a lunch break that extends from 1:30pm to 3pm. Already booking your one-way flight to Italy? We’re right there with you.

Moroccan Tagines in a bowl
Image by Annie Spratt / Unsplash
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Morocco: Tagines

Moroccans consider lunch to be the main meal of the day, so don’t expect them to eat lunch at their desks. Usually, a Moroccan lunch will include a meze of salads and olives alongside a tagine and couscous. All paired with mint tea.

man holding a Argentinian empanada
Image by Matias Anibal Maistegui / Shutterstock
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Argentina: Empanadas

Also enjoyed for breakfast, empanadas are pastries filled with meat, vegetables, or seafood. Argentineans will also enjoy miga sandwiches, something like the English cucumber sandwich. Being so easy to transport, homemade or store-bought empanadas, are the ideal lunch. 

A plate of Greek Moussaka
Image by Atsushi Hirao / Shutterstock
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Greece: Moussaka

What? Did you relieve believed they only ate Greek salad? While salad is a huge part of a Greek diet, when it comes to lunch ideas, they prefer something more substantial. Moussaka is an eggplant dish with ground meat.

Denmark: Smørrebrød traditional Scandinavian open-faced sandwich
Image by FoodAndPhoto / Shutterstock
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Denmark: Smørrebrød

The closest thing you’ll find to a sandwich is the traditional Scandinavian open-faced sandwich. Buttered rye bread, cold cuts, pieces of meat or fish, cheese or spreads, and garnishes. While beautiful, we don’t know how the Danish get this from their house to the office without making a mess.

Typical United States sandwich filled with deli meat, lettuce, tomato, and mayo
Image by Charles / Unsplash
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United States: Sandwiches

When you or your coworkers are not headed to the closest restaurant for lunch, you’re probably eating a sandwich. Look around. Most likely, everyone is eating either a sub or a sandwich, or anything that’s handheld. And, they’re probably eating at their desks, as other 67% of Americans do.

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Geraldine
GR8NESS Writer
Geraldine is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about self care, clean makeup and beauty, mental health, and relationships – as well as natural remedies and fitness. She’s a coffee enthusiast with Venezuelan roots, a former ballerina, and the sunscreen patrol. Most of the time, you can find her working on her skincare routine or trying a new dance workout.
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