10 Tasty and Healthy Treats That Birds Love

Parrot eating a banana

 Daniel Osterkamp / Getty Images

Sharing a meal with your bird can be a wonderful bonding experience, but did you know that it can also benefit your pet's health?

Many bird diets lack certain vitamins and minerals that birds need, which can lead to a host of serious health conditions.

Feeding your bird a healthy diet does not have to be costly or time-consuming. When you feel like your bird deserves a special treat, try serving up one of these healthy and easy options that are packed with taste as well as beneficial nutrients.

Illustration of healthy treats for pet birds
The Spruce / Theresa Chiechi
  • 01 of 09


    Close-up of fruit variety on table

    Marion Tohang / Getty Images

    Mango, pomegranate, bananas, cantaloupe, or apples: It's your choice, and it's also about what your birds prefer. Just about any fruit imaginable is good for your bird's diet. Full of taste and nutritional value, fruits are a wonderful source of vitamins, and these choices are a favorite among the vast majority of pet birds.


    As with any fresh food you offer your bird, remove and discard any leftovers a couple of hours after serving. This prevents bacteria growth inside of your pet's cage. Take it easy on the grapes, however. They contain a lot of sugar. 

  • 02 of 09


    A wide variety of dried beans

    WLADIMIR BULGAR / Getty Images

    Beans are a wonderful source of vegetable protein, and an outstanding source of fiber for your companion bird which helps keep its digestive system running smoothly. Try boiling a 15-bean soup mix without any seasoning. Allow the beans to cool, and then offer a scoop to your bird. The chances are that this will become a fast favorite with your little friend.


    Remember to never serve raw beans to your companion bird as they can be toxic unless cooked.

  • 03 of 09


    A bowl of seeds, sprouts, and watermelon

    Brie Grometer / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

    Do you like alfalfa sprouts on your salad? Your bird may like them too. Learning to safely sprout in your kitchen is not difficult at all! Be sure to thoroughly wash any sprouts that you offer your bird. Some may have come into contact with pesticides in their journey from the garden to your local supermarket, and you don't want to pass these toxins on to your pet. Growing your own sprouts is a healthy way to give live, raw nutrition to your flock. 

  • 04 of 09


    A bowl of fresh root vegetables

    Richard Felber / Getty Images

    Wild birds feast on an amazing variety of vegetables in their natural habitats, so it only makes sense that fresh veggies are good for companion birds as well. Try offering your pet some thoroughly washed and rinsed broccoli, yellow squash, or greens next time you serve these veggies in your home. Other avian favorites include carrots, kale, root vegetables, and peas.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09


    Pasta for Dogs

     Lauri Patterson / Getty Images

    No matter whether it's cooked or uncooked, birds love pasta. The good thing is, it's full of energy-enhancing carbohydrates! Try boiling some bowtie pasta with vegetables and serving it to your bird when cool. If your pet prefers its pasta crunchy, fill a few raw macaroni noodles with nut butter for a fun and tasty snack.

  • 06 of 09


    A bowl of corn and a bowl of popcorn

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    Believe it or not, many pet birds enjoy snacking on popcorn. You can serve your bird either popped or unpopped kernels. If you choose to serve the popcorn unpopped, boil the kernels for a bit in plain water to soften the tough hulls. If you desire, you can pop the kernels for your bird using a very small amount of pure coconut.


    Be sure never to give your bird microwaved popcorn. These varieties are extremely high in fat and salt, which can be harmful to your pet's health.

  • 07 of 09

    Cereal or Grains

    Rolled oats in a bowl

    creativeye99 / Getty Images

    Grain farmers often complain when flocks of wild birds descend on their crops to feast. A hungry group of birds can strip a field of grain in no time. Grains are nutritious and very good for birds. They offer nutritional values that some other foods cannot. Whole grains are an excellent source of vital protein, not to mention beneficial carbohydrates. Try serving your bird oats, quinoa, or Grain Bake, and watch the feeding frenzy begin!

  • 08 of 09


    A small serving spoon of pecans

    Paul Poplis / Getty Images

    Nuts are extremely healthy for your companion bird. Walnuts, in particular, have many nutritional features not found in other nuts. They're are also very tasty, and many birds appreciate them as special treats or even natural foraging toys. Many birds will spend time exercising their beak and jaw muscles on the shells of some varieties, trying to pry them open. If they find one they simply cannot open, give them a hand and use a nutcracker to assist in cracking them. 


    Always make sure that any nuts that you serve your bird are clean and unsalted—certain types of fungi can grow on nuts that aren't clean. Nuts can be frozen to preserve freshness over the long term. 

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09


    Red and green jalepeño peppers

    Carol Wood / Getty Images

    Although many humans have trouble eating spicy peppers, birds can take the heat. It seems that our avian friends lack the taste receptors that pick up on a pepper's stinging bite, which makes them a favorite of birds around the world. Try giving your pet a nice fresh chili, banana, or jalapeno pepper and watch it chomp through it to get to the meat and seeds inside.