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Editor’s Note: This story complements the Culinary Journeys TV series, airing monthly on CNN International. See more of the show here: Share photos of your own Culinary Journeys on Instagram with the hashtag #CNNFood for a chance to be featured on CNN.

Story highlights

We asked for your lunchbox contributions

Here are some of our favorites from around the world

CNN  — 

It should be a midday break from the daily toil, a chance to enjoy some great food.

In reality, for many of us, lunch winds up as a sad-looking snack, bought or made in a hurry and eaten at our desks.

It needn’t be that way, and thankfully it isn’t always, as our Culinary Journeys quest to find the best lunchtime feasts discovered.

For our latest food challenge, we asked folks to use the #CNNFood social media tag to show us what they take to work.

The response was mouthwatering.

Boxes filled with kuska rice, paneer korma with carrot and green onion raita joined balsamic and rosemary-coated vegetables and lemon pepper chicken breast.

Here are a few of our favorites:

From France to San Francisco

Two mothers from France, now based in San Francisco, make lunch boxes for their young children each day.

They post these treats on Instagram via @teukoapp.

We loved this one in particular for its sheer variety of food: mixed fried vegetables, soba noodles, grated zucchini and carrots, followed up with a hard-boiled egg, bread and cheese, then strawberries to finish.

Healthy AND tasty – these moms know how to feed their kids.

African dishes and recipes

Telling us to “pay attention to your tummy,” Instagram user @sweetvinekitchen – aka Tolulope Olayinka Martins– posted a mouth-watering photograph of her draw soup with farina.

The recipe includes smoked turkey, dried prawns, smoked de-boned catfish, chopped okro, ground ogbono, chopped spinach, iru (locust beans), chopped Jamaican pepper, palm oil, salt and Maggi bouillon.

Draw soup is popular in southeast and southwest Nigeria and is typically made from okra, ewedu or pumpkin seeds.

Martins, a Nigerian American, is a nurse in Newark, New Jersey who runs an African kitchen on the side because “my love of food won’t let me sleep.”

She likes nothing more than “to explore and showcase African dishes, cuisine and recipes to the world.”

This dish, she says, can be packed for lunch at work, gives energy and is filling.

Honey-glazed in Hong Kong

It’s hard not to look forward to lunch time at work when there’s honey-glazed ham, Gruyere, aged Cheddar and Dijon mustard on wholewheat toast lined up.

Instagrammer @kwskan made himself the ultimate comfort food, taking the classic ham and cheese sandwich and making it his own.

His Instagram is dedicated to mouthwatering delicacies and fine wines, and he boasts more than 2,000 followers.

Japanese bento boxes fit for royalty

This beautiful array of small dishes from Instagram user @rounakkinger made us wish we were in Japan for lunch time.

What they call their Royal Japanese thali could keep all but the hungriest going for the entire day.

Nigeria cooks up a lunch time storm

Despite the name, Instagrammer @nigerianlazychef is anything but lazy.

This photograph from Nigeria, rich with both color and ingredients, shows mackerel in basil and tomato sauce.

It’s an online winner drawing praise and recipe requests from other Instagram users.

Food prep straight from the U.S.