This Sydney mum just took school lunches to a whole new level.

You think you’re pretty good because you prepare lunch for your kids every day – maybe a Vegemite sandwich and a banana? Well, just wait till you see the lunches that Sydney mum Tomoko Horrell makes for her son Sean.

On any day, Sean might open his lunchbox to find Sesame Street characters, Snoopy, Angry Birds, Pokemon, baby pandas or Peppa Pig (made, slightly disturbingly, out of ham).


Image via Tomoko Horrell/Instagram

"I've started making these because I want my kids to eat lots of healthy food and enjoy it," Horrell tells Mamamia. "But my son asks me for an Australian lunch, which means Vegemite sandwiches!"

She says making the lunches usually takes her about 20 minutes, depending on the character. Her inspiration comes from a few different places.

"Some of them are from online, some of them are  from books, and some of them I think of myself."

Image via Tomoko Horrell/Instagram

While Horrell's lunches are something very special here in Australia, they wouldn't stand out so much in Japan. There's even a name for these cute characters made out of food and put in school lunchboxes: kyaraben. Some mothers attend lessons on how to make them, then spend well over an hour recreating them in their kitchen.

"It's quite popular in Japan," Horrell says. "Lots of mothers make kyaraben."

It's only occasionally that she's sad to see her work disappear.

"When I made the Jurassic Park sandwich, which is my favourite, I thought it's too good to eat."

Image via Tomoko Horrell/Instagram

At least she can keep pictures forever on Instagram. Check out more of Horrell's lunches in the gallery below.

Do you spend a lot of time on your kids' lunches?

Watch: Our favourite TV mums.