What Do Red Eared Sliders Eat in the Wild: Facts, Info, and Diet Recommendations 

In the wild, the red-eared slider turtle’s diet mainly consists of insects, worms, and other small invertebrates. Still, they will also scavenge food from other creatures or eat human-provided food if it’s available in adequate quantities and isn’t too dangerous to them (like poisonous plants). Occasionally they will also eat plant material. Red-eared slider turtles need a varied diet that includes animal and plant material as a reptile.

As a rule of thumb, give your turtle a varied diet that includes fresh water and food throughout the day. Don’t be afraid to experiment with their diet – they’re intelligent animals and will learn what you like best. You can also feed them fruits, vegetables, and animal matter occasionally.

What to Feed to Baby Red-Eared Sliders

These little guys need to feed constantly when they’re young, so their growth and development are optimal. As they grow older, feed them worms, frogs, lizards, and slightly larger prey items. 

Adult red-eared sliders can consume up to 95% of their body weight in food each day! So make sure you have plenty of food options available so your turtle can eat what they need.

What to Feed to Adult Red-Eared Sliders

It would help if you fed adult red-eared slider turtles a diet of about 80% water and 20% vegetable matter. This can include freshwater invertebrates, small fish, crickets, or other turtle-safe items as long as they are chopped into small pieces. 

You should feed the adult red-eared slider turtle three times per day – at Sunrise, Noon, and Dusk. If you live in an area with many insects, you can also give your turtle cricket food at these feeding times.

Types of Food That Red-Eared Slider Turtles Can Eat

Make sure you give them the correct type of food by feeding them frozen or thawed prey items and fruits and vegetables. They love to eat insects, worms, and other small animals, so keep an eye out for food items you may be able to feed them. In addition to food, red-eared slider turtles enjoy water and sun. Be sure to provide them with both!


As these turtles are omnivores and will eat small reptiles and amphibians (just be careful not to overfeed them), feeding them insects is an excellent way to ensure they have everything they need. 

Make sure you have various types of food available so that the turtle doesn’t get bored or switch to other prey species- this will reduce its chances of becoming overweight. 


Crabs, shrimp, and spiders make good food for turtles – so be sure to give them a varied diet to get the nutrients they need. Red-eared slider turtles are natural predators of crustaceans – so if you have one around your house, it’s essential to keep their diet varied too!


Red-eared slider turtles are omnivores, so that they will eat various foods. However, vegetables are their favorite food and should make up most of their diet. Make sure to provide them with plenty of fresh produce to meet their nutritional needs and satisfy their appetite. 

They love brightly colored vegetables such as red lettuce and carrots. You can also give them fruits like apples or bananas when available.

  • Carrots – Carrots are an excellent food for red-eared slider turtles. They can be boiled, steamed, or roasted, making them easy to prepare. Carrots are also high in vitamins A and other nutrients and are one of the best vegetables for red-eared slider turtles to eat. Keep carrots out of the reach of turtles if you do not want them to eat them! 
  • Green beans – When feeding sliders green beans, keep an eye on the sugar content. Too much sugar can cause health problems for slider turtles, so it’s essential to find a balance that suits them best. Green beans are also a good source of many essential vitamins and minerals slider turtles need. Steam or boil these veggies before feeding them to your turtle friends for optimum nutrition and digestion.
  • Lettuce – Lettuce is a great treat or feed for red-eared slider turtles. You can give Red-eared turtle lettuce leaves as a treat, feed them chopped-up veggies straight from the garden, or mix them with other vegetables like bok choy and carrots. Make sure to wash lettuce and other vegetables before feeding your turtle – food poisoning is not fun!

Some Common Feeding Mistakes on Red-Eared Sliders


Overfeeding them can lead to obesity and health problems in the long run. Therefore, you must ensure you are feeding your turtle a balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and insects. Unfortunately, too much of any one type of food can be harmful, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to their feeding schedule. 

You should also monitor their weight regularly and adjust their diet as needed if they start becoming overweight or lethargic due to overeating.

Not Enough Variety of Food

Make sure to rotate your turtle’s food so they get a varied diet and avoid getting bored with one food item. Consider feeding them live prey if they’re interested in hunting- this will ensure they get all the essential protein they need. 

If you notice your turtle isn’t eating well- even if he seems healthy- take them to see the veterinarian for an evaluation to address any underlying issues adequately.