Companion parrots should not be in control of what they eat. The idea that they will instinctively eat what is good for them is a myth. There is some truth to the belief that wild parrots eat what is available to them seasonally and, therefore, consume certain nutrients during certain times of the year. However, companion parrots have to be exposed to healthy foods on a regular basis for them to be able to select what they need. We must be vigilant that the nutritious food we buy for our parrots actually get eaten.
For birds that are not eating healthily (such as those on a seed-only diet), you need to teach them how to eat the right foods. When it comes to vegetables and fruits, starchy and/ or sweet foods, such as corn, grapes and apples, are not the healthiest fresh foods, but seed-only eaters might learn to eat them more readily as a transition to broccoli, sweet potatoes, winter squash, carrots, collard greens and healthier fresh foods.
More than 30 years ago, I got my cockatiel to eat carrot tops by weaving them in and out of the bars of his cage. Put veggies and fruits on hanging kabobs. Make birdie bread with chopped veggies in them, mashes or a piece of food wrapped with another piece of food. Put a bit of mash in a small piece of whole-grain tortilla. Wrap a variety of nutritious greens around other foods that your parrots love. Place leaves of sopping wet greens — collards, turnip, mustard or kale — on the top of the cage. Many birds enjoy leaf bathing and eating the greens at the same time.