You are currently viewing What Can Turtles Eat From Human Food? [11 Delicious Tips]

What Can Turtles Eat From Human Food? [11 Delicious Tips]

Getting a pet turtle means that you are signing up for an extra member of the family. When eating, you will also have to think of what the turtle will eat. It just means that there is an added responsibility. Since we never want to starve that new member of the family, what would happen if his food ends? Will he starve, will he have something to eat? Can he eat what humans eat?

These are some of the questions that most beginners ask themselves. They are also some of the questions I ask myself. To cure my curiosity, I decided to do some research on a turtle’s diet to find out whether they can eat from human foods. Can they? Let us find out.

What can turtles eat from human foods?

I found out that turtles can eat pretty much everything that humans can. It is only that some of these foods should be consumed in moderation. Some human foods, when taken in large amounts, may be harmful to the turtles. 

Since turtles can eat almost anything from plants and meat, they should survive quite okay with human food. You should not be stressed when their food runs out. However, since some foods may be harmful, I will share some completely healthy foods for turtles and those that should be moderated. Stay tuned.

What human food can turtles eat?


Meat plays a very important role in the turtle’s diet. It helps in the turtle’s growth. You should also know that younger turtles enjoy more meat than any other food. It helps in the growth of the shell. However, if consumed in large amounts, it will cause some metabolic bone disease. The shell will start pyramiding. It is a condition where the shell’s growth accelerates.

Since there is a limit on how long the shell should grow, the shell will start to make pyramid shapes on the shell’s scute. If the case becomes severe, the is no cure, but if it is noticed earlier and the diet is changed, this bone disease will stop developing.

Take note that too many fats are not good for the turtle. You should, therefore, avoid bacon and stake. Also, ensure you cook the meat just to be on the safe side. Raw meat may contain some bacteria.   


Fish is also a great meal for the turtle. They happen to share the same environment in the wild. For this reason, the turtle feeds on the fish for food. Although they do feed on the fish in the wild, your turtle is not wild. You should, therefore, avoid giving him wild fish. The most likely contain some bacteria that may harm your turtle.

Instead, you should visit the nearest pet shop and ask for some turtle feeder fish. They should give either bass, killifish, platies, bluegills, crappies, or guppies. A list of fish to avoid include goldfish, carp, feathered minnows, gizzard shad, and rosy red minnows. You should also avoid fishes with lots of fat. Try to get small-sized fish to make it easier for the turtle to consume.

Fruits and Vegetables

As turtles grow older, they start to enjoy fruits and vegetables more. It means fruits are very important to turtles. Turtles will eat pretty much every fruit that humans eat with a few exceptions.

Some fruits like citrus and those rich in potassium are harmful to turtles. Citrus fruits will irritate the turtle’s stomach. Other than these, fruits are very nutritious to turtles. They provide them with other vitamins that keep them healthy.

Keep in mind that fruits should not form more than 10% of their full diet. Feed them fruits in small quantities.

Vegetables are also good, but some should be avoided. They include iceberg salad and veggies with high oxalates content, which will inhibit calcium absorption. You never want to disrupt their calcium absorption.

Bread And Other Bakery Products

Bakery products are not the go-to option when their food ends. They are not harmful to them, but still, they are not helpful. When you feed them bread, you will fill their stomachs, but you will not add any nutritional value. You might even make them have stomach upsets. Some of these products may cause digestion problems. Avoid feeding them bread and bakery products.


Pasta is like bakery products. They should be avoided since they add no nutritional value to the turtle. 


Sweets should be kept very far away from turtles. It is because sweets are harmful to turtles, and as we know, there is nothing that turtles will not eat, so keep them away from sweets.


Snacks are great options for people in a hurry or just chilling. It is not the case for turtles. You should not feed them snacks when their food is completed. Most bites tend to have a lot of sugar or salt. They also contain chemicals and preservatives which are harmful to turtles. Keep snacks out of reach of the turtles. Read what vitamins do turtles need?

What Vitamins Do Turtles Need


After ardent research, I found out that nuts are like some vegetables. They contain high amounts of oxalates, which hinders the absorption of calcium. Don’t even think of giving nuts to your turtles as a treat or anything.

Dairy Products

Dairy products are the other food option that you should not give to your turtle.  Turtles cannot digest dairy products, which is so unfortunate for them. Keep them away from dairy products for healthy living.


Eggs are a good option. They are not harmful to your turtle, and they are a good source of protein. When giving them eggs, just remember to boil them and peel them. It will make it easy for your turtle to consume.


You might wonder why I Have included insects in the list. Well, some people in places like Asia do eat insects. Insects are a great food for the turtle. It is what they feed on in the wild. I recommend feeding them live insects and also dried crickets.

In conclusion, your turtle should never go hungry since their pellets are over. Turtles can eat most of what we humans can eat. Keep in mind that it is not all foods. Some other meals will be harmful to the turtles, and some add no nutritional value. When feeding your turtle, always ensure that the food is fresh. Pay attention to the human foods that you give them. Make sure the food is safe for them.

Related Questions:

Can Turtles Eat Cat Food?

Cats are mostly carnivores. They feed on meat, which is good for the turtle. Just ensure the meat is safe for the turtle and does not contain fats.

Can Turtle Eat Dog Food?

Just like cat food, dog food is also great for turtles. Dogs can eat most of what humans eat, and their food mostly contains some sort of meat, which is great for the turtle. Ensure that the food is fresh.

Can Turtle Eat Fish Pellets?

Fish pellets are a good option for the turtles. They are similar to turtle pellets though not all. I do recommend fish pellets for your turtle.

Save this pin on your pet-related board on Pinterest.

What Can Turtles Eat From Human Food pin

Leave a Reply