Lunchbox Animals

Brighten up a kid's lunch with these super-cute animals made with refrigerator staples.

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Photo By: Renee Comet

Photo By: Renee Comet

Photo By: Renee Comet

Photo By: Renee Comet

Photo By: Renee Comet

Photo By: Renee Comet

Go Ahead, Play with Your Food

Kids will love seeing these adorable animals when they open their lunchboxes — and, let's be honest, you'll enjoy making them too. None of them require special crafting skills or tools, which means you'll be winning the lunch game in no time. Score!

Clementine Cat

Position a clementine with the stem facing up. Use a small sharp paring knife to score 2 small triangles into the rind at 11 and 1 o'clock. Flip up the triangles for the ears. Score 4 parallel lines on each side of the nose (the stem) for the whiskers and flip them outward. (You can also use a citrus zester to make the cuts.) Cut out 2 small almond shapes for the eyes in between the ears and the nose. Press in 2 mini chocolate chips, flat-side out, for the pupils. Starting right below the nose, cut a J and then a backward J for the mouth.

Celery Snails

Cut four 2-inch-long sticks of celery and slice a plank from the rounded bottom of each so they sit flat (reserve the planks for later). Fill the celery sticks with sunflower butter. Slice a large carrot into thin rounds (you will need 12 pieces total, 4 larger slices and 8 smaller slices). Use the sunflower butter to glue a smaller carrot piece to each side of a larger carrot piece to make 4 round snail shells. Stick a carrot snail shell into the sunflower butter at one end of each celery stick, leaving a little room at the end. Slice the reserved celery planks into 8 small antennae and stick 2 into the opposite end of each celery stick.

Sandwich Butterfly

Cut out 8 hearts with a cookie cutter from 2 slices of sandwich bread. Cut smaller hearts from 4 of the pieces. Spread the uncut heart pieces first with cream cheese, then with fruit spread, such as Simply Balanced® Organic Strawberry Fruit Spread. Top with the pieces with the hearts cut out of them. Stack 2 blackberries with their stem ends touching to make a butterfly body. Arrange the bread hearts, pointy-sides in, flanking the blackberries for wings. Attach 2 mini chocolate chips, flat-side down, to the top blackberry with cream cheese for the eyes. Stick 2 carrot shreds into the top of the berry with eyes for the antennae. Eat the mini heart bread pieces, or save them for another use.

Rice Cake Owl

Spread a rice cake with creamy peanut butter, such as Simply Balanced® Organic Creamy Peanut Butter. Press 2 banana slices for the eyes on top. Use more peanut butter to attach blueberries in the middle of the banana slices for pupils. Put a small strawberry half, pointy-side down, between the eyes for the nose. Add an apple slice to each side of the rice cake for the wings. Fill in the chest with puffed rice cereal for feathers, leaving the peanut butter around the owl's face visible.

Watermelon Pig in Yogurt

Cut a 3-inch round and a 2-inch round of watermelon with biscuit cutters or a sharp knife. Glue the smaller round to the larger round with some Greek yogurt. Add 2 small strawberry slices for the ears at the top of the smaller round. Use Greek yogurt to glue on 2 blueberries for the eyes. Use Greek yogurt to glue 2 black sesame seeds onto a crosswise slice of grape for the nose. Stick a thin, curled piece of clementine peel for the tail at the back. Spoon 1 cup of Greek yogurt into a sandwich container. Place the pig on top and scatter grapes, clementine segments and sliced strawberries around the bottom.

Cheese Mice

Unwrap a wedge of spreadable cheese or Brie, bring it to room temperature, and sit it on a stack of wafer crackers. Stick the points of 2 almond slices in the cheese back toward the wider part of the wedge for ears. Stick 2 black sesame seeds in the middle of the wedge for eyes. Stick 2 carrot shreds on each side of the wedge near the front, for whiskers. Cut a small carrot round with the end of a plain pastry tip or a sharp paring knife and attach it to the pointed front for the nose. Attach a curly shred of carrot in the back, sticking up at angle for the tail. Stick in a sandwich container or bento box and fill with crudité and trail mix to keep the mice safe while transporting.