This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CraftedSnacks #CollectiveBias. Here I’ll share some creative ways to get kids to eat more protein and veggies, as well as a fun free printable pack with farm animal patterns and a farm scene to help you re-create these fun bento boxes at home. Plus, receive cash back on healthy snacks using the Jingit app.
What is a Bento Box?
A bento box is a great way to pack a lunch that balances nutrition and great-tasting food. It should include protein, carbs, and fruits and vegetables. For our farm-themed Bento Box, I threw in some candy eyes for fun. A bento box is a great way to plan ahead for lunch, and, if you have young kids like I do, it’s also a way to get them to try different foods. Isn’t a puppy-dog more fun to eat than a peanut-butter cracker? My four-year old thought so.
If you have ever wanted to make a Bento Box but wasn’t sure where to start – I’ve got the perfect bento box building plan and it’s super-easy to do. I created these bento characters using pre-cut cheese and salami slices from Hillshire™ Snacking Small Plates and Chicken Bites. Thanks to these power-house protein snackables, you can easily pack loads of the good stuff with fruits and veggies to create a delicious, well-balanced, and fun-to-eat meal.
FREE Printable Placemats with Farm Animal Bento Boxes
My farm-themed bento box comes complete with a pig, chick, puppy-dog, and sheep. It also includes a garden with green shredded lettuce for grass and tomatoes as flowers, and a small lake of blueberries with cheese lilly pads and grape flowers. I created a fence using celery sticks and peanut butter.
To make it easy for HappyandBlessedHome.com readers to re-create these adorable farm animals at home, I created a printable pack with each farm animal’s face. The pack also includes some farm scenes in case you decide to use the printables as placemats. You can use these patterns with play-doh; it’s a great way to create a fun farm activity with preschoolers at home. This free printable pack is at the bottom of this post, scroll down to get your copy.
Where to get your Farm Animal Bento Boxes Ingredients
You can find everything you need to create these Bento Boxes at Target. I picked up both the Hillshire™ Snacking Small Plates and Chicken Bites in the open refrigerated section where you find lunch meats.
Cash Back on Healthy Snacks with the Jingit App
Not only can you take advantage of some delicious high protein packed snackables while you’re shopping at Target, you can also save money by using the Jingit App. I was able to download the app in the store and use it to get cash back for my purchases. And, since I had errands to run after my trip to Target, I enjoyed a box of Chicken Bites while shopping and I can tell you honestly, they’re delicious!
How to get Cash Back on Healthy Snacks with the Jingit App
- You can use the Jingit app to shop at Target and earn cash. Just use the map icon in the upper right-hand corner of the Jingit app to find locations nearby where the cash back offer is available. You can earn cash back on grocery essentials like bread, milk, and butter every week. Another great way to earn cash back is to explore Jingit for offers on home essentials like paper towels, dish soap, and more.
- To get started, download the Jingit app.
- Enter data to set up your profile.
- Confirm your registration via text message verification code.
- Double confirm your Jingit account using the link provided via e-mail confirmation.
- Once inside the app, let Jingit know what brand store you are shopping in. For instance, Target.
- Once inside the correct store within the Jingit app, select the product from the Jingit menu.
- There may be multiple offers for the same brand, select the product you are shopping for right from the app.
- I saved on our ingredients for these bento boxes. Hillshire is offering $1.00 off the Hillshire™ Snacking Small Plate – reserve your discount via your Jingit app. Click the link to see the offer on Jingit.
- Hillshire is also offering $1.00 off the Hillshire™ Snacking Chicken Bites. Click the link to see the offer on Jingit.
- Check out and scan the UPCs from your product packaging
- Scan the receipt from your purchase to secure your Jingit rewards.
- Collect your cash back savings on Jingit!
Creating Farm Animal Bento Boxes
The easiest way to create these farm animal faces for your bento box is to use the Hillshire™ Snacking Small Plates. The crackers, salami, and cheese slices are already cut to the perfect size for this project.
These farm animal faces are so adorable, my son was more than delighted to each his lunch when I served him his bento box.
Ingredients for Farm Animal Bento Boxes
A bento box is a great way to create a fun lunch for kids. Ingredients will include carbs, proteins, and fruits and veggies. Many of the items I used for our bento boxes are pictured here. In addition, I added celery sticks and blackberries to create the farm scene. I drew a blueprint for each animal face before I started, but if you download the free printable faces at the end of this post, you can use the blueprint provided in the animal face patterns included in the printable pack.
Ingredients for Bento Box Farm Animal Faces:
2 – Boxes of Hillshire™ Snacking Small Plates – I used Italian Dry Salame and Geona Salame
2 – Boxes of Hillshire™ Snacking Chicken Bites – I used Grilled Chicken Bites with Honey Mustard Sauce and Teriyaki Sauce
2 – Cups od shredded lettuce (you will only use a small portion of this lettuce)
2 – Small black olives
2 – Tablespoons of peanut butter
2 – Tablespoons hazelnut flavored nut butter or cocoa flavored peanut butter
1 – Cup small green grapes
1 – Cup cherry tomatoes
2 – Cups fresh blueberries
3 – Sliced carrot sticks
1 – Package candy eyes (usually found in the baking section)
3-4 Stalks of celery
1/2 Cup fresh blackberries
3 – Cups of white rice
Before you start this project you’ll want to make some sticky rice. To make your rice sticky you’ll want to have 2 and 1/4 parts water to your white rice. For this project I brought 3 1/2 cups of water to a boil and then added 1 and 1/2 cups of white rice. I brought the heat down to a simmer and simmered the rice and water on the stove top for about 20 minutes. You can always add more water to make it softer or steam it longer to dry it out.
Once the rice cooled, I shaped the rice into patties. In the meantime, I was able to start on some of the steps for this project, I’ve outlined the steps below.
Directions for Farm Animal Bento Boxes
Farm Animal Bento Box Faces from Left to Right:
- Gouda cheese face
- Candy eyes
- Carrot beak
- Carrot feet
- Cracker face coated in peanut butter
- Cracker ears coated in peanut butter
- Candy eyes
- Blueberry nose
- Black olive smile
- Gouda cheese face
- Gouda cheese ears
- Candy eyes
- Rice tuft of fur on top
- Blackberry nostrils
- Salame face
- Salame ears
- Salame nose
- Candy Eyes
- Blackberry nostrils
- Black olive smile
I wanted to serve as fresh a bento box as possible so I left the cheese and salami slices in the fridge while I trimmed the fruits and veggies. Some of the gouda cheese disappeared during assembly – it really IS tasty!
Step 1: Chick Feet and Beak: I sliced a carrot slick into a thin rectangle and then trimmed a piece into a small foot for my chick character. I used the same technique to create the other feet and beak.
Step 2: Create garden and lake flowers: To create “flowers” cut a deep “V” shape on four sides of your grapes and tomatoes.
Step 3: Spread nut-butters on cracker pieces: I created the puppy dog using the crackers included in the Hilshire snacking box. I started by spreading peanut butter on the cracker to give it a nice brown color. I halved a cracker and coated it with the hazel-nut flavored nut butter to create the puppy-dog ears.
Step 4: Trimming snacking small plates pieces to create animal faces: I used a chapstick cap to cut the pig’s nose. I hand-trimmed the pig’s ears and the sheep’s ears.
I trimmed the pig’s ears from the half of the salami slice that came from the pig’s nose.
Step 6: Cutting cheese pieces: I created “illy” pads using a small cookie cutter for the leaves.
Step 7: Assembly: I assembled all my pieces to create my farm animal scene as outlined above. To create the fence, I spread peanut butter on the celery stcks and trimmed them to fit the bento box. I put a layer of blueberries on the bottom of the box to create the lake and placed my cheese and grape flowers on top. To create the garden, I used the chicken bites as the “ground” and spread bits of the shredded lettuce through it. I placed the tomatoes on top for a colorful red flower garden.
Enjoy your bento box lunch!
My son loved this farm themed bento box lunch. He devoured the sheep face and blueberry lake right away. Plus he tried some new flavors of cheese and salame – a fun way to introduce him to new foods.
More Hillshire™ Snacking Small Plates and Chicken Bites Recipe Ideas
Cash Back on Healthy Snacks
Don’t forget to take advantage of some money saving coupons with Jingit. No paper couponing required, just reserve your savings on the Jingit app, scan the UPC and receipt, and voila’ you’ve racked up cash with Jingit! Follow Jingit on Twitter and Facebook to learn about new offers and opportunities to earn cash back every time you shop.
Download Free Printables
Want to re-create this bento box at home? You can also use these as play-doh placemats to enjoy a fun farm-themed activity with your preschooler. Just click the blue “Download Now” button below to download your FREE copy.
What’s your favorite Bento Box idea?
Does your family enjoy bento box farm animals? Have an idea for another creature I should create using bento box techniques? Have you created a bento box at home? Send me a photo and I’d like to feature you on the blog. Please leave a comment on your favorite bento box idea, I always love hearing from my readers.
P.S. – I blog to encourage moms, offer free preschool tools, and share ideas for family fun. If you enjoy free recipes, printables, crafts and games for little ones, ideas for family fun and encouraging posts for moms, sign up and have Happy and Blessed Home delivered to your inbox. Simply enter your e-mail address here: