A Complete Guide To Food Parakeets Can Eat and What They Can’t Eat?

our feathered friend has moved beyond just eating seeds and pellets. They, too, enjoy and benefit from a nutritionally balanced diet just like us humans. You and your parakeet can now enjoy a healthy, delicious diet together! The question you may be wondering is, “what foods can and can’t my parakeet eat?” Here is a complete and easy-to-follow guide below:

Parakeets (or budgies) enjoy a diet consisting of various fruits, vegetables, seeds, legumes, certain flowers, proteins, and unprocessed pellets. They must avoid alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, chocolate, avocado, peanuts, dairy, mushrooms, curry powder, uncooked beans, and fruit pits.

Non-toxic foods are essential to their overall well-being and health. They should never just be fed solely one type of food and how boring it would be for them to eat too!  If your parakeet has never been introduced to a diet with a variety of healthy foods don’t worry all you need is a bit time, patience and persistence.  

We’re calling on all parakeet parents, new and experienced, to continue scrolling because here is everything you need to know about your pet’s diet:  

What are foods that parakeets can eat?

One word that comes to mind when describing food for your budgie to eat is ORGANIC. The nasty pesticides used in conventional farming can be harmful to your feather baby.

Your favorite supermarket and local farmer’s markets (online or in-store) all offer endless possibilities of organic products today. You and your budgie can hop on the organic trend together and enjoy these quality ingredients together! 

Not only does your parakeet reap all the benefits from these foods, but their brains function better by trying new foods.

Yes, you read that right! They have a whole sensory world of their own that uses their tongues to pick up on different textures and tastes.

Unlike our human babies, parakeets are praised for playing with their foods to keep them alert, curious and to prevent boredom. 

THE GOLDEN RULE: 40% is the maximum amount of fresh food recommended for your parakeet’s diet; the rest must be organic pellets or seeds. 

Here is a list of budgie-approved foods:


Feeding parakeets fruit MUST ALWAYS HAVE NO SEEDS, and you must remove it 15-30 minutes from their cages after serving to prevent bacteria from forming.

Nutritious and delicious, adding nature’s candy to your diet will surely excite your budgie’s tastebuds.

  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Melon (Watermelons, Cantaloupes, Honeydew
  • Tangerines
  • Berries (blackberries, mulberries {their leaves too}, strawberries, blueberries, raspberry)
  • Peaches
  • Bananas (and their skin!)
  • Figs (in small amounts)
  • Kiwi
  • Cucumber
  • Pears
  • Apricots
  • Nectarine
  • Dragon fruit
  • Cherrys
  • Plums
  • Mango
  • Dates
  • Guavas (NOT THE SEEDS, if you are unable to remove them, avoid guavas altogether)
  • Papayas
  • Litchis

Fruit has all kinds of essential vitamins and minerals. That is why it is so easy to overfeed them with it, but do not make that mistake because it contains sugar. Besides, your budgie is probably sweet enough already!


A daily diet staple, your parakeet, should always get their greens in. They provide wonders of essential vitamins and nutrients, but as always, moderation is key. If you notice your budgie’s droppings becoming watery, you know you have overdone their veggie intake. 

Our feathered babies also pick at their vegetables just like our human babies, but we don’t stop trying.

You need to discover what your budgie likes, as not all the vegetables listed will be to their desired taste. Get ready because it’s time to keep it clean and give your budgies all the greens.

Here is a list of budgie safe vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Celery (leaves as well)
  • Lettuce
  • Squash
  • Brussel sprouts (chopped)
  • Spinach
  • Cooked corn
  • Cooked cabbage
  • Kale
  • Cooked sweet potato
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Zucchini
  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots (and their greens)
  • Parsnip
  • Cilantro
  • Peppers (all different kinds-spicy included)
  • Chard
  • Fennel
  • Peas (podded and cooked)
  • Cress
  • Artichoke
  • Cooked cauliflower 

TIP: The best time to introduce these foods to your budgie is at breakfast since this is when they are most hungry, especially if they are used to a seed/pellet diet.

Remember, if they don’t like a certain food today, likely, they won’t like it tomorrow either; never give up trying with different kinds, though!


Packet seed mixes are perfectly okay to feed your budgie but remember that they MUST be organic and free of any additives.

Another important tip is to remember that if your budgie’s seed mix has passed its shelf-life date, it’s for a reason! Not only can bacteria form, but the nutrients will decrease. Get your glasses on because you NEED to read the labels in everything your parakeet eats!

Here is a quick trick we learned from our bird friends to make sure the seeds you have are fresh. Soak the seeds overnight, then drain them the next morning. Spread them out on cotton wool and wait 24 hours. If at least 90% of the seeds sprout, you know they are good.

The safest option is a ‘DIY’ parakeet mix; here are some seed ingredient ideas to use:

  • Canary 
  • Alfalfa 
  • Mustard (all the colors)
  • Chia 
  • Fennel
  • Safflower 
  • Clover

Sunflower seeds and millet seeds are a great option, too, but we don’t recommend adding them to your DIY mix as they contain a higher amount of fat. Moderation is key!


Beans MUST be fully cooked; otherwise, they will do more harm than good. Your budgie can stick to an all-vegetarian diet unless they are nesting, then introducing meat will provide many benefits. Protein is essential for bone health, and it keeps them satiated. 

  • Almonds
  • Pinto beans
  • Tofu
  • Eggs (must be hard-boiled and once or twice a week)
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Adzuki beans


Grains are to be given as treats only because in the wild parakeets thrive off of fresh foods in their diet and cooked food would not even an option for them.

Grains are carbohydrates rich; unlike legumes, they contain a small amount of protein. If your budgie loves grains, here are some budgie friendly options:

  • Oats (cooked is recommended and must be whole)
  • Barley (whole)
  • Rye
  • Buckwheat
  • Whole kernel corn (popcorn)
  • Wholemeal pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa (red is best)
  • Millets (yellow, white, and red)

A little goes a long way!


Spoil your parakeets with flowers and entice their tastebuds with their natural roots, and you’ll see your budgie bloom (remember pesticide-free always!). The leaves aren’t edible, but these flowers are:

  • Carnations
  • Honeysuckle
  • Lilac
  • Pansies
  • Hibiscus 
  • Lillies
  • Tulips
  • Eucalyptus 
  • Roses


Parakeet parents who are at work or out of the house for many hours during the day don’t worry because a bowl of pellets will keep them from becoming hungry.

Some parakeet pellet mixes contain grains, so you do not want to overfeed too much of the same food groups.

We highly recommend TOP’s Parrot Food for your budgie because they strive all their products to be filled with wholesome ingredients, and just when you think they couldn’t get any better, they are proudly USDA organic certified too. 

REMEMBER budgies/parakeets are small creatures and do not need a lot of food, don’t overfeed them!

What Can’t Your Parakeet Eat?

We all want our feather babies to live long and happy lives with us, and in captivity, they can live up to eight years old (if taken care of properly). If you are a pet owner to other animals, you will already be used to these foods below being on the no-go list. Check out our dedicated post on parakeets lifespan, “How Long Do Parakeets Live

If budgies consume these foods, it can be fatal to them so AVOID THEM AT ALL COSTS!

Here is a list of highly toxic foods to your parakeet:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Foods that contain caffeine(chocolate/coffee)
  • Avocado
  • Bread
  • Peanuts
  • Dairy
  • Candy
  • Tomatoes
  • Crackers (forget ‘Polly wants a cracker!’)
  • Deli foods
  • Raw meat
  • Cross-contamination (food that has been in your mouth)
  • Potatoes 
  • Honey
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggplants
  • Sugar(sweeteners too)
  • Radish
  • Passion Fruit


Our journey together has shown us how parakeets thrive on a diet that is balanced and full of a variety of different foods. Restricting them to an all-seed/pellet diet will do much more harm than good.

Also, avoid Feeding them any food that is toxic to their health. Parakeets do not need much food to survive as they are smaller birds, so don’t overfeed them! Follow this guide for a happy and healthy budgie.

Donald Bergeson

I have always been fascinated by the skill, strength, and beauty of birds.They help in maintaining a balance of ecological environment. At Best Bird Guide, I share all of my experiences and discoveries that I have got so far and inspire more devoted fans.

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