Knowing What Is Safe to Feed a Pet Parrot

Keep your parrot healthy and happy by feeding it the right foods

Parrots are delightful pets to keep. Not only do they have the most colorful and beautiful plumage of all the birds, but they can also keep you company with their pleasant mimicking of human voices and other tricks if they’re trained properly. Since parrots live a long time, you want to ensure that your parrot will be safe, healthy and happy, you must know what foods are safe to feed your pet and also the ones that are toxic to your feathered friend.

Safe Vegetables for Parrots to Eat

CarrotsVegetables that are safe for parrots

Here is the list of the vegetables which are deemed safe for parrots to be fed:

  • Basil
  • Beet greens
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cooked red potatoes
  • Cooked sweet potatoes
  • Dandelion greens
  • Fennel
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Green beans
  • Hot peppers
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard greens
  • Parsley
  • Peeled and steamed squash (any kinds including Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, Pumpkin, and the Summer varieties. The seeds are the parrots’ favorites in particular)
  • Radicchio
  • Radishes
  • Red beets (peeled)
  • Snow peas
  • Sweet red and green peppers
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Swiss chard
  • Tofu
  • Tomato
  • Turnip greens
  • Turnips



What Kinds of Fresh and Prepared Foods Do Parrots Eat?

Fruits that are A-OK for Polly


Here’s the list of fruits that are safe for parrots to eat:

  • Apples (cored)
  • Banana (peeled, should only be served fresh)
  • Berries (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry)
  • Cactus pear (peeled)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries (pitted)
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes (with seeds or without)
  • Kiwi (peeled)
  • Mango (pitted)
  • Melon
  • Oranges (seeded)
  • Papaya
  • Peaches (pitted)
  • Pears (cored)
  • Pineapple
  • Plums (pitted)
  • Pomegranate
  • Starfruit
  • Tangerine (seeded)


Nuts possess high levels of fat, but they’re otherwise good fats, giving energy your pet parrots need. However, since captive parrots aren’t as active as their free-flying wild kins, you should feed your parrots with nuts only sparingly. Every nut has different nutritional value, such as omega 3 and carotenoids. The following are the kinds of nuts that you can feed to your parrots:


  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashew nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts

Grains and pellets

Grains are considered a fortunate blessing to pet owners. Grains are packed with lots of nutrition and at the same time, these are your parrot’s favorites too! Each grain contains different types and amounts of nutritional value, but almost all grains are low in fat but full of proteins, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. You can prepare a mix of various grains so that your parrots will get balanced nutrition that they need.


  • Pearled Barley
  • Buckwheat Groats
  • Bulgur
  • Hulled millet
  • Wheat berries
  • Quinoa
  • Triticale

Pellets are a prepared mix of many different ingredients, meant to provide parrots with complete nutrition. However, many avian vets and enthusiasts argue that this isn’t always the case. However, pellets can provide a valuable addition to your bird’s diet.

`chocolateFoods that are unsafe and toxic for parrots

Let’s move on to foods that are unsafe and toxic for parrots. You should never feed your birds with the following:

  • Avocado (all parts can kill your parrot within minutes)
  • Asparagus (can cause upset indigestion)
  • Alcohol (who in the right mind can feed a parrot with that? It can be deadly even in small amounts)
  • Cabbage and other leafy greens (for the exception of kale, cabbage and all other leafy greens have oxalic acids can inhibit the absorption of calcium)
  • Caffeine (can bring cardiac distress and death)
  • Chocolate (speeds up the metabolism of the bird which is already high in metabolism rates — same as caffeine)
  • Dairy products
  • Fruit seeds and pits (some seeds or certain fruits can have low traces of cyanide. Check out the abovementioned fruits that should be pitted or seeded before being fed to your parrot)
  • Garlic (if taken in excess, can cause anemia)
  • Mushrooms (fungus which can induce toxicity in birds)
  • Onions (brings digestive distress)
  • Peanuts and peanut butter (contains aflatoxin, a fungal and carcinogenic substance. Peanut shells contain aflatoxins too. Roasting the peanuts may lower the aflatoxin levels but never eliminates it completely)
  • Raw honey (contains high levels of botulism. Pasteurized honey might be better for your birds)
  • Rhubarb (raw rhubarb contains high levels of oxalic acid)
  • Salt (if in taken in excess, it will result in dehydration and kidney malfunction)
  • Sugar and sugary snacks