There’s a good chance that you’ve pinned at least one cute animal-themed food art idea by now. Because….well, cute! Of course, whether you execute is a whole other story. No worries, most of these are totally doable—but we did throw in a few jaw-dropping, looks-too-good-to -eat masterpieces, too. So move over, teddy bear toast; we’ve rounded up the best wildlife masterpieces for your ogling (and maybe even replicating) pleasure.
While scrolling through Sarah Gonzalez’s (aka @lunarbell_lunch) Instagram feed, three words will come to mind: “we’re not worthy”. She takes food art to a new level with such detail, like the realistic spots on this leopard. Note the heavy use of veggies as flora, too! Grab some popcorn and park here a while; you may even be inspired to try your hand at an idea or two.
The all-time kiddie favorite just got an adorable upgrade. This version on Bento Monsters comes with a step-by-step tutorial and is something even the littlest of hands can help out with thanks to a cookie cutter, tomato sauce and slices of cheese.
photo: Bento Monsters
Tiger with Camera
Are you admiring the tiger, or is it the other way around? The shoe’s on the other, er, paw with this clever lunch. A sandwich cutter and a few geometric cuts are all you need for this bento meal by Mamabelly.
Plant-based diets are making a big splash these days. Elevate the humble mushroom to a mighty stingray on a bed of rice, an instant marine biology lesson for your pint-sized foodie. Get the details from Becoming a Bentoholic.
photo: Becoming a Bentoholic
We have yet to meet a toddler who doesn’t squeal at the sight of a squirrel. This one from Wendolonia is both cute and doable thanks to a shaped cookie cutter. It’s the supporting cast that steal the show, though, with cheese leaf shapes waiting for a nibble. Pure genius.
Babybel Cheese Penguin
So cunningly simple, you’ll kick yourself for not thinking of it first. Eats Amazing turns a snacktime staple into a polar delight with a mini circle cutter, candy eyes and a bit of carrot. Make sure to scroll down, since you’ll find ways to transform a clementine, sandwiches, and raisins into these irresistible creatures.
photo: Eats Amazing
Udderly adorable. As if anyone needed more coaxing to eat cake, the mom and baking genius behind Cococakeland uses her piping prowess to make this cow. Poke around on her blog for other animal and non-animal creations, many with tutorials.
Fish first thing in the morning is a must when it looks like this: croissant dough baked in the shape of an aquarium, hand-cut fish-shaped bread, apple-slice fish skeleton on a skewer (so creative!) and just-the-right details like aquarium greenery and a fishing rod. Follow Instagram user mikodesign for more whimsy.
photo: Miko Designs
Little Bo Peep would definitely have kept better track of her sheep if it came this way. Provolone cheese, nori, candy eyes and grapes in the hands of the Bento School Lunches blogger become a super fun meal. Bonus points for the spelling lesson in the veggies.
photo: Bento School Lunches
Keep calm; charaben on. “Charaben” is the Japanese term for most of what’s on this list—crafting food into characters, animals or cute scenes. Instagram user @5ambento is a pro, but this particular rice panda is a fun reminder to keep things simple and lighthearted.
Clean and simple is Food for Harper’s mantra, perfect for minimalist lovers. Her bunny-shaped egg is made with a mold, and looks like a breakfast or snack any little one would gobble up in no time.
photo: Food for Harper
When it comes to the food art world, Instagram user @leessamantha is queen. If you haven’t heard of her by now, prepare for jaw-dropping photos of full meals-turned-masterpieces. You’d be hard-pressed to find a kid who’d turn down these burger bumblebees, using melted cheese, nori, cucumbers, and a couple dabs of ketchup.
photo: Lees Samantha
Is it slow and steady, or cute and healthy that wins the race? This impressive bento meal covers both with its simple-yet-clever use of pickles to upgrade a burger (oh hi there, summer BBQ party inspiration!) Don’t miss the graham cracker crumb “sand” and yogurt-covered raisin “turtle eggs” that pinch hit for a lesson in the birds and the…turtles. Get the full how-to on Lunchbox Dad.
photo: Lunchbox Dad
Which one of these works of art is your favorite? Share with us in the Comments!