13 BEST Foods for PARROTS in 2024 (Complete diets/treats)

Finding the BEST foods for your parrot is VERY important.

best foods for parrots

These beautiful birds have specific nutritional requirements to keep them healthy. Unfortunately, just like with humans, the foods your parrot wants to eat are often not the foods it should be consuming. 🙂

As you probably know, there are a wide variety of different bird foods available, with some being much better options than others. Below you will learn about some of the BEST foods you can feed your parrot.

I have divided this post into two sections:

If you use any of these foods, you can rest easy knowing your parrot is getting complete and balanced nutrition. Look at the ingredients list, and you will see that each option includes many different foods in its blend, providing a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.

While the “Complete Diet” foods provide adequate nutrition, your parrot will probably get bored of eating the same thing every day. That’s why this section is so important! To keep your bird excited about mealtime, make sure to feed different toppings and treats throughout the day.

Best Complete diet foods for Parrots:


 

#1. Kaytee Fiesta Parrot Food

best foods for parrots

Compare Prices!

Chewy | Amazon

This food from Kaytee is formulated specifically for parrots.

It was developed by avian nutritionists to provide as much nutrition as possible. This gourmet diet is nutritionally fortified with a premium blend of vegetables, seeds, grains, and fruits, which will help provide variety for your parrot.

The ingredient-rich blend is a complete diet that ensures proper nutrition. It also includes:

  • Omega 3’s, which support your parrot’s brain and heart health.
  • Antioxidants for immune support and overall health.
  • Vitamins and minerals that enhance their skin and feathers.
  • Prebiotics and probiotics for digestion.

And make sure to look at the ingredient list below, as it features an incredible amount of delicious, whole foods. Honestly, if it weren’t made specifically for birds, I would think it sounded like a trail mix I’d want to eat!

YouTube video

Crude Protein: 14%

Crude Fat: 14.5%

Crude Fiber: 18%

First Ingredients:  Sunflower, Safflower, Oat Groats, Pumpkin Seed, Ground Corn, Wheat, Corn, Peanuts, Almonds, Raisins, Dried Papaya, Shelled Peanuts, Green Split Peas, Buckwheat, Ground Wheat, Oyster Shell, Milo, Dried Bananas, Corn Gluten Meal, Pinto Beans, White Northern Beans, Ground Flax Seed, Squash Seed, Dried Pineapple

Negatives:  Contains artificial colors.

Kaytee is also home to the Kaytee Animal Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on education, conservation, and research.


#2. ZuPreem FruitBlend Flavor

best foods for parrots

Compare Prices!

Chewy | Amazon

ZuPreem works with veterinarians to manufacture this food specifically for parrots.

The FruitBlend Flavor has pellets loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. This option is perfect to use as a foundational food for your pet bird.

What many people like about the FruitBlend Flavor is that even “picky birds” tend to eat it! The fruit-based recipe features real fruit and natural fruit flavors, including bananas, apples, oranges, and grapes.

YouTube video

Crude Protein: 14%

Crude Fat: 4%

Crude Fiber: 3.5%

First Ingredients: Ground corn, Soybean meal, Ground wheat, Wheat germ meal, Sugar, Vegetable oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Oranges, Apples, Calcium carbonate, Dicalcium phosphate, Grapes, Bananas

Negatives: Contains added sugar and synthetic food dyes, like Yellow 5.


#3. Lafeber Nutri-Berries for Parrots

Compare Prices!

Chewy | Amazon

Lafeber is highly-trusted when it comes to food for parrots.

And the Classic Nutri-Berry Food is incredibly popular for its health benefits and how much birds seem to like it! You can use this diet as the main food for your parrot or as a healthy treat.

As you can see in the picture above, Lafeber takes lots of ingredients and puts them together into berry-shaped balls, which are the perfect size for parrots to hold and eat.

And instead of all the ingredients being ground up and put into a pellet form, most of the hulled seeds and grains are left whole! That method retains vitamins and minerals that would otherwise be lost when the bird discards the shell.

Lafeber claims that their feed takes twice as long to eat, thereby preventing boredom for your feathered friend. In addition, the mix is void of GMO ingredients, artificial flavors, and colors.

Crude Protein: 12.5%

Crude Fat: 8%

Crude Fiber: 5%

First Ingredient: Hulled White Proso Millet, Corn, Oat Groats, Peanuts, Hulled Canary Grass Seed, Red Millet, Safflower, Malto-Dextrin, Rape Seed, Wheat, Soybean Meal, Corn Syrup, Dicalcium Phosphate, Corn Oil, Ground Limestone, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Gelatin, Whole Egg

The only potential negative to this incredible food is the cost. Compared to other options on this list, it is considerably more expensive by weight.


#4. Roudybush Daily Maintenance Large Parrot Food

best foods for parrots

Compare Prices!

Chewy | Amazon

These pellets serve as a complete diet for parrots, so no additional vitamins or minerals are needed as supplements. One great feature of this food is there are no added sugars, colors, or preservatives, which is rare to find when it comes to parrot food.

Roudybush may be an unfamiliar name. However, their bird food results from 16 years of avian nutritional research in the Department of Avian Sciences at the University of California!

Crude Protein: 11%

Crude Fat: 6%

Crude Fiber: 3.5%

First Ingredients:  Ground Corn, Ground Wheat, Soybean Meal, Soybean Oil, Alfalfa, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, L-Lysine, DL-Methionine, L-Arginine, Niacin, Silicon Dioxide (Anti-Caking Aid), Citric Acid (Preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Vegetable Oil, Rosemary Extract, Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Source Of Vitamin E), Ascorbic Acid


TOPPERS and TREATS for Parrots:

You can prevent boredom with your parrot by providing variety in their diet. Below you will learn about some healthy treats and toppers you can easily incorporate into their meal plan. Limit snacks to no more than 20-30 percent of your bird’s total diet.


#5. Lafeber Classic Avi-Cakes

Compare Prices!

Chewy | Amazon

Classic Avi-Cakes are made specifically for large parrots, containing 50 percent seed and 50 percent nutritionally balanced pellets. A square shape encourages your bird’s foraging instincts by allowing them to work for their food.

Made in small batches, inspected for cleanliness and freshness, then hand-packed, avi-cakes will provide mental stimulation by encouraging foraging behavior!

If your parrot enjoys eating Avi-cakes, you should also try the Fruit Delight Avi-Cakes to provide some variety!

Chewy | Amazon

This recipe adds a healthy dose of fruit, such as papaya, cranberries, dates, pineapple, and mango, to the mix. As with the Classic Blend, it is a 50/50 mix of pellets and seeds and can help wean your bird off a seeds-only diet. Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, chelated minerals, and vitamins are also included.


#6. ZuPreem Pure Fun – Parrots

Compare Prices!

Chewy | Amazon

Pure Fun is a premium blend of delicious treats designed for parrots.

Most birds can get bored with their foundational food, so having a bag of Pure Fun is perfect for getting your bird excited to eat. But please be careful and don’t overfeed this food, as ZuPreem recommends that it should not make up more than 30 percent of your bird’s diet.

YouTube video

Crude Protein: 6%

Crude Fat: 6%

Crude Fiber: 8%

First Ingredients: Dried Peas, Ground Corn, Pistachios, Dried Bananas, Dried Pineapple, Dried Papaya, Soybean Meal, Dried Apples, Dried Chili Peppers, Ground Wheat, Sugar, Wheat Germ Meal, Vegetable Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Natural Flavors, DL-Methionine, Dried Oranges, Dried Grapes

Negatives: Contains added sugar, artificial dyes (Yellow 5), and preservatives.

 


#7. Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Bird Greens

Compare Prices!

Chewy | Amazon

Kaytee’s Bird Greens contains alfalfa, parsley, kale, chia seeds, and sweet potatoes. These healthy foods include vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids that are important for a well-balanced diet. This treat can be sprinkled over their regular food or served as a side dish.

Wild parrots spend much of their time foraging for insects and plants. Vegetables, flowers, and leaves are among their favorite greens and are necessary for a healthy immune system, which is why I think Bird Greens is a GREAT food to offer your parrot.

Ingredients: Dehydrated Alfalfa Leaves, Dehydrated Parsley, Dehydrated Kale, Chia Seed, Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes


#8. Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit is especially appealing to parrots; however, fruits should not make up more than 10 to 20 percent of your parrot’s diet. Include a variety of bright colors. As with anything, organic is best.

And make sure to remove any seeds, pits, and stones from any of the fruits below!

Some favorites include:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Figs
  • Grapes – use in moderation due to high sugar content.
  • Grapefruit
  • Guava
  • Kiwi
  • Mango (remove skin)
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Passion fruit
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate
  • Raspberries
  • Star fruit
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines

#9. Vegetables

Just like for humans, veggies are better than fruits for parrots — mostly because they contain less sugar. Make sure your bird gets dark yellow and leafy green vegetables every day. You can serve them fresh, cooked, whole, or chopped. It helps to offer different options for variety!

  • Alfalfa
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beet Greens (cooked)
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli (head and leaves)
  • Brussels Sprouts (cooked)
  • Carrots (root and tops)
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard (cooked)
  • Chicory
  • Collards
  • Coriander
  • Corn (kernels or on the cob for larger birds)
  • Cress and mustard
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Endive
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Mustard greens
  • Okra
  • Parsley
  • Peppers (bell, cayenne, jalapeno, banana, or cherry)
  • Potato (cooked)
  • Pumpkin
  • Soybeans
  • Spinach – Only offer in small amounts as it can prevent a bird from absorbing calcium if eaten in large quantities.
  • Spring Greens
  • Squash
  • Sugar snap or snow peas
  • Sweet Potato
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tomato
  • Turnip Greens
  • Yams
  • Zucchini

Do NOT offer your parrot avocado, and French fries do not qualify as a serving of vegetables!


#10. Nuts

best foods for parrots

Parrots love nuts, and cracking them open provides mental stimulation. But whether shelled or unshelled, it’s important to determine the quality of your bird’s food. They will probably discern better than you do, but inspecting them yourself is a good habit.

Don’t offer any nuts with shells that are cracked or look moldy. Always check the inside for a consistent color, and know that a good nut will leave a trace of oil on your fingers when you squeeze it. A sniff or taste test doesn’t hurt, either. Nuts can be frozen for up to six months.

Here are some to try:

  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • *Cashews
  • *Macadamias
  • *Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios
  • *Walnuts

* The shells of these nuts can contain toxins. Therefore, it is always best to consult a veterinarian before feeding.


#11. Whole grains

best foods for parrots

Grains are an important part of your parrot’s diet. They provide B vitamins, minerals, carbs, proteins, and amino acids. You can try cooking them or offering them raw.

  • Amaranth
  • Brown Rice
  • Buckwheat groats
  • Bulgar
  • Hulled millet
  • Low-Fat Granola
  • Oats and oat bran
  • Pearled barley
  • Quinoa
  • Teff
  • Triticale
  • Unsweetened Cereal
  • Wheat (wheat berries, wheat germ)
  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Whole Grain Pasta
  • Wild Rice


#12. Sprouts and beans

Sprouted seeds are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet—rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. Parrots love them!

You only need to purchase seeds, soak them for the specified time, drain, rinse, and allow them to germinate and grow.

Another super easy method is to buy a packaged bean-soup mix and soak the beans overnight. In the morning, rinse, cook thoroughly, and serve. You can also freeze the leftovers to use another time.

Remember, new foods should be introduced slowly and in small amounts to make sure your parrot will be able to tolerate them well.

Parrot favorites include:

Adzuki beans, Alfalfa seeds, Almond, Amaranth, Arugula, Barley, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Buckwheat, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Chia, Collard, Endive, Fenugreek, Garbanzo beans, Kale, Kamut, Kohlrabi, Lentils, Millet, Mung beans, Mustard seeds, Oats, Pak Choi, Peas, Pumpkin seeds, Quinoa, Radish, Red clover, Rye, Sesame seeds, Spelt, Squash, Sunflower seeds, Tatsoi, Teff, Triticale, Turnip, Watercress, Wheat berries, and Wild brown rice.


 

#13. Protein

Healthy proteins for your parrot are low in fat. Other than grains, nuts, and beans, you can try offering the following foods to see what your parrot likes:

  • Eggs (hard-boiled)
  • Fish (in moderation)
  • Tofu
  • Tuna (in water)
  • Yogurt (plain, non-fat)

Check out these other parrot food guides:

African Greys / Amazon Parrots  / Conures  / Eclectus Parrots / Hawk-Headed Parrots  / Macaws


What foods should I avoid feeding my parrot?

I hope it’s obvious that you should avoid feeding your parrot junk food. Also, avoid anything high in salt, fat, or added sugar. You should also be wary of foods that contain too many dyes, preservatives, nitrates, nitrites, sulfites, or monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Here is a list of foods to avoid. However, the best guide is to consult your veterinarian. Don’t hesitate to call them if you have any questions regarding the health of your bird.

  • Alcohol
    • Why not avocado? Because they contain persin, which is found in avocado fruit, leaves, and bark. Persin is a natural type of fungal toxin that is safe for humans but toxic for birds.
  • Apple seeds
  • Avocado
  • Caffeine
  • Cassava (tapioca)
  • Chocolate or cocoa
  • Dairy products
  • Junk food intended for humans
  • Fruit pits or seeds
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Processed meats
  • Rhubarb
  • Scallions

What is the best diet for my parrot?

  • Clean water (without chemicals such as chlorine) is a given. The water needs to be kept fresh and may need to be changed up to twice daily, depending on how messy your parrot is!
  • Seeds are considered parrot junk food. Although your bird may love them, they should be limited to 25 percent of their total diet. Too many seeds can put your parrot at risk for high cholesterol, heart problems, obesity, and fatty liver disease.
  • The best foods for your parrot mimic (or are the same as) those eaten in the wild. To avoid exposing your bird to spoilage, remember to remove any uneaten fresh food within a few hours.
  • When looking at pre-packed parrot foods, please consider the following:
    • Protein: The recommended percentage of protein depends on the fiber content as well as the species of bird. It can range from 3 to 15 percent. However, an acceptable minimum is usually 12 percent.
    • Fat: The appropriate amount varies depending on the species and can range from 5 to 12 percent. Plant-based forms such as flaxseed, coconut, chia seed, and red palm oil are superior.
    • Vitamins: A, B, C, D, and K, as well as calcium, are critical.

What does your parrot love to eat?

best foods for parrots

Please leave a comment below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *