What to Feed Turtles at the Park

what to feed turtles at the park

Food sharing may seem like a nice gesture, but feeding bread-based diets (which lack essential vitamins and nutrients) to turtles could actually do more damage than good.

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Avoid dairy items like milk and cheese since turtles lack the enzymes needed to digest them, and stay away from fried foods which contain excessive oil and fat content.


Fresh Fruit & Vegetables

Turtles require a balanced diet of both animal- and plant-based food sources. Animal-based sources include processed pet foods like drained sardines and turtle pellets as well as fresh fish such as crabs, shrimp, worms, earthworms, tadpoles, frogs and feeder fish.

Bread should not be fed to aquatic turtles as it contains high amounts of sugar and has an imbalanced ratio of nutrients, leading to vitamin E deficiency in these creatures. Furthermore, greasy foods (think French Fries, Donuts or Onion Rings) should also be avoided as these may pose health hazards to them.

Vegetable-based foods include dark leafy greens (collard and watercress), mushrooms, peas, carrots, corn and nontoxic aquatic plants like dandelion and weeds. Offer these items in small quantities and remove any leftovers immediately as these could sink and rot in the water and affect its quality.

Canned Whole Fish

Turtles enjoy feeding on various types of fish such as sardines, anchovies, smelt, herring and pilchards which can be purchased canned from most pet stores.

Canned sardines, anchovies, herring and pilchards provide turtles with much needed proteins and vitamins – they should make up about two thirds of their diet.

Fresh fruits and vegetables like pears, apples, kiwis, tomatoes, carrots, collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, cucumber squash bananas are great snacks for most species of turtle. Boiled eggs should only be fed occasionally due to being high in fat content – adults should receive plants once weekly while meat should be offered every other week for optimal results.


Visitors often give the turtles bread to feed into the water at the park, which they love eating – but this may not be best for their wellbeing.

Bread contains too much sugar and flour for turtles to digest efficiently, as well as lacking essential vitamins and nutrients that they require – leading to metabolic bone disease that could prove fatal for their wellbeing.

Dairy products should also be avoided as turtles lack the enzymes to properly break them down and it contains high amounts of oxalates which impede calcium absorption. Greasy foods like French Fries, Onion Rings, and Candy should be avoided since these can damage turtles’ shells.


Turtles can get their nutritional needs met through fruits, vegetables and pellets specifically tailored for their species. Bread contains dairy products as well as high sugar levels as well as unhealthful chemical preservatives which may harm their health.

Though turtles love bread, its consumption can be detrimental to their health. Bread makes their stomachs feel full and prevents them from eating other nutritious foods – leading to bloating and other health problems in turtles that live in the wild; in addition, eating too much bread would likely deprive them of protein and calcium necessary to survive in nature.

Fried Foods

Bread should not be fed directly to turtles in parks as this contains sugar and flour that these creatures cannot digest properly as well as chemical preservatives that could potentially harm them.

Fry foods should generally be avoided due to their high fat and salt contents, which can be hazardous for birds. This applies to most processed food such as lunch meat or chips.

Pellets may be appropriate to feed turtles as a supplement, but should make up no more than 25 percent of their diet. Instead, provide vegetables such as kale, collard greens, chard or lettuce and fruits such as tomatoes, strawberries, figs apples bananas guavas melons etc.


Turtles eat an assortment of foods, from fruits and vegetables to leafy greens such as kale and collard greens, squash, and carrots. Although most vegetables can be consumed safely by turtles, be wary when feeding onions and garlic due to high concentrations of oxalates that could prevent proper absorption of calcium.

Avoid feeding your turtle anything containing preservatives or high levels of salt as these foods can cause stomach issues in turtles. Bread should never be fed to turtles as it has no nutritional value and could even lead to shell deformities; overreliance on bread would also limit their enzyme needs for digestion of their food sources.