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10 Easy Ways To Get Your Parrots To Eat Healthier

Want to get your parrots to eat better? Find out 10 ways to present healthy foods that will get your birds going beak-first into their food bowls.

Patricia Sund

Follow Patricia Sund on Twitter at @parrotnation

blue-and-gold macaw

There are a myriad of ways to liven up meal time in a healthy way! Here are 10.

1) Make "talon sandwiches” (instead of finger sandwiches) of almond butter and chopped vegetables or fruit on a whole grain bread. If you want to get fancy, cut off the crusts.

2) Prepare a healthy bean dip. Make homemade hummus or use cooked beans blended to a paste with veggie sticks. Mix in vegetable shreds for little birds.

3) Try breakfast smoothies with kale and other healthy items. 

Kale & Fruit Smoothie


  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups stemmed and chopped kale or spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pineapple (about 1/4 medium pineapple)
  • 1 ripe banana, chopped


Combine the coconut milk, ½ cup water, the kale, pineapple, and banana in a blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute, adding more water to reach the desired consistency.

Kale & Banana Boost


  • 3/4 cup chopped kale, ribs and thick stems removed
  • 1 small stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Place the kale, celery, banana, apple juice, ice, and lemon juice in a blender.

Blend until smooth and frothy. 

4) Prepare frozen fruit or veggie popsicles. Puree fruit or vegetables in a blender with some apple juice. Pour into ice trays.  Add a wooden popsicle stick if desired and freeze. Pop out when frozen and serve.

5) Make healthy parrot sushi using vegetables wrapped with a piece of steamed sweet potato skin or a kale or collard leaf and brown rice.

6) Have a parrot picnic! Sit on the floor covered with newspaper and have a picnic with your birds with healthy food for them and you. Your flock does learn by example and may try something new if they see you eating it. 

7) Keep frozen vegetables on hand to grab when you’re in a jam, time-wise. Just steam or thaw and add to their regular meal.

8) Make dried kale chips in your oven. Cut leaves of kale in serving size pieces. Spread on a cookie sheet and place in a preheated oven set to the lowest temperature. Bake until dried and crispy. Store in a ziploc bag and serve as desired.

9) "Bait” your parrots' bowls of food with good things they like, but mix it in well so they have a tough time picking out just the stuff they prefer.

10) Make food fun! Stuff it into a hollowed-out mini pumpkin, a whole-wheat pasta tube or green pepper. Make a kabob by using a stainless-steel hanging skewer.

Loved this list? Check out my other food recommendations here:

Next: Bird Food: The Raw & The Cooked
Why Your Birds Should Try Quinoa 

Psittacine Cuisine 

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10 Easy Ways To Get Your Parrots To Eat Healthier

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Reader Comments
I got my cockatiel to eat veggies by monkey see monkey do. I make him a small salad and I eat one my self. He wants to eat anything I am eating.
Elisabeth, blacksburg, VA
Posted: 9/22/2015 11:19:40 AM
I had no idea that you could give them kale! I always heard that you could not give them spinach, so I figure kale was not allowed either! My macaw seems to just go after carbs. She's not even crazy about meat. However, my cockatoo loves meat and some veggies. My macaw also loves pumpkin pie every year around Thanksgiving. She licks it all off her beak and wants more, but I do limit stuff like that and consider that just a treat ;)
Mary Anne, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Posted: 10/4/2014 9:41:39 AM
I think these recipes can be for humans too right. I will try the smoothies because I think is is great. I use to get recipes from LINK and its good.
Jeff, Weehawken, NJ
Posted: 8/24/2014 12:09:59 AM
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