What Do Red-Eared Slider Turtles Eat: A Complete Guide

Red-eared slider turtles are considered omnivores and may eat aquatic plants, small fish, and rotting dead fish in the wild. In captivity, they can eat a variety of things, including fruits and vegetables, frog legs, insects, and even small mammals.

Red-Eared Slider Turtle Diet


Feeding insects to these turtles is a fantastic way to make sure they have everything they need because they are omnivores and will consume small reptiles and amphibians (be careful not to overfeed them). Make certain that the turtle has a variety of foods to choose from, as this will help it avoid becoming overweight by limiting its options.If you want your red-eared slider turtle(s) to stay around longer, keep their surroundings green and flowery with plenty of healthy-looking plants!


Feeding your turtle prey that is small enough to avoid over-eating or obesity is essential for their health and well-being. Turtles should be given a varied diet to get the nutrients they need, so crabs, shrimp, and spiders make good food for them. If you have a red-eared slider turtle in your home, it’s crucial to provide them a diverse diet of crustaceans since they are natural predators of these!


Safe Vegetables for Red-Eared Sliders


For red-eared slider turtles, carrots are an excellent food. They’re simple to cook since they can be cooked in a variety of ways. If you don’t want turtles to eat your carrots, keep them out of their reach! Carrots are one of the finest vegetables for red-eared slider turtles to consume, and they’re also high in vitamins A and other minerals.


For red-eared slider turtles, lettuce is a wonderful treat or food. You can offer them chopped-up veggies, feed them chopped-up veggies straight from the garden, or blend them with other foods such as bok choy and carrots as a treat. Before feeding your turtle, make sure to wash the leaves and other veggies – food poisoning is not nice!

Green Beans

Keep an eye on the sugar level when feeding sliders green beans. For slider turtles, too much sugar can be harmful, so it’s important to find a sweet balance that they like. Slider turtles need many of the nutrients and minerals that green beans offer. For maximal nourishment and digestion, steam or boil these veggies before feeding them to your turtle friends.

Bell Pepper

Bell peppers are a great addition to any slider diet – they’re low in sugar and have plenty of nutrients. Be sure to avoid onions, garlic, and potatoes, though – these can harm sliders. Add some diced tomatoes into their diet for extra flavor!

Unsafe Vegetables for Red-Eared Sliders


Slider turtles are omnivores so they will eat various things, including vegetables. However, chard is not one of these safe options – it is known to be poisonous. Therefore, if you want your slider turtle to have any chance of eating vegetables safely, then this should be off the menu! Another option would be providing them with fresh vegetables from your garden or allotment. Then, of course, your sliders will love it! Therefore, ensure the ingredients list on any food you plan to feed them is fully disclosed and correct for their dietary needs.


Spinach is a great leafy green vegetable for red-eared slider owners because it provides high levels of vitamin A and other nutrients. However, be warned that spinach is also risky food for these turtles as it contains high levels of oxalates which can cause calcium deposits in the turtle’s shell. Feed them fresh or frozen fruits and veggies instead to minimize the risk of feeding them spinach.


If you decide to feed your slider turtle vegetables containing cabbage, it is essential to do so in small doses or mix them with other vegetables. You should also be aware that red-eared slider turtles are not safe to eat these veggies because they contain high amounts of oxalic acid. Other vegetables that you should avoid include celery, carrots, and apples. Always check the ingredient list before buying any food for your turtle!


Rhubarb is an excellent vegetable for people who want to feed their slider turtles but are warned that they contain high oxalates. Other vegetables to avoid when feeding slider turtles include beets, spinach, and potatoes, which have high levels of this harmful compound. Instead, try giving them kale, carrots, or sweet potatoes as alternatives. Keep their environment clean by regularly removing food and fecal pellets from around the tank so your turtle can move about freely and easily find the food it needs.


If you’re considering keeping a red-eared slider turtle as a pet, feed it a varied diet with lots of plant-based proteins. This will help it stay healthy and vigorous. One of the primary things they eat is lotus fruits, which give them a high protein level. They also consume insects and other small animals, making them an excellent choice for those looking to keep their pets healthy.

Turtle Pellets

Red-eared slider turtles are omnivores, meaning they consume plant and animal-based food. One of the turtle’s favorite food items is turtle pellets, which are high in protein and low in fat. These pellets are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, and other essential nutrients your turtle needs. Furthermore, turtle pellets are easy to digest, so your turtle will have no trouble eating them. So if you’re looking for a nutritious food option for your turtle, turtle pellets should be at the top of your list!


Slider turtles are omnivores and feed on various items, but a cuttlebone is an integral part of their diet. It helps to grind up food and keep their teeth clean, and it’s also a source of calcium. So make sure to get a cuttlebone for your turtle before they leave the house this year – they’ll be pleased! If you can’t provide them with a cuttlebone, try feeding them a diet of pellets and small prey items.

Foods to Avoid for Red-Eared Slider Turtles

Too Sweet Fruits

Slider turtles will have a hard time digesting sweet fruits. As such, they get their energy from plant matter such as leaves, flowers, and fruit. Therefore, giving these turtles a balanced diet that includes plenty of green vegetables, too, will help them stay healthy and vigorous!

Too Many Veggies

Some foods that red-eared slider turtles cannot eat include excessive vegetation, fruits, and nuts- so make sure you give them food they can enjoy! Unfortunately, too much vegetation in their diet can lead to several health problems for slider turtles, such as obesity or vitamin deficiency. So please take care when feeding your turtle green leafy vegetables- ensure they enjoy the benefits without any adverse side effects!

Common Feeding Mistakes

Feeding in Incorrect Habitats

Slider feeding in the wild shouldn’t be a common occurrence, as not all sliders are meant to live in the wild. Most of them should only ever live in captivity. Your slider must access various food items – plants and insects – to get the nutrients they need to thrive. It’s also advisable not to feed them more often than necessary as this can easily lead to obesity problems for turtles. Instead, provide small snacks several times throughout the day on-site or through their feeder dish at home.

Not Enough Variety of Food

One of the main complaints new pet owners have is that their turtle doesn’t seem to get enough variety in their diet. This can result in various health problems down the line, such as obesity and metabolic syndrome. A good staple diet for a turtle should include:

  • Hay
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit
  • Small amounts of meat (approximately every other day)
  • Plenty of water


It’s common for pet owners to overfeed their turtles. This can be due to the misconception that more food equals better health for a turtle. Overfeeding also happens when people give their turtle too much at one time, which can cause diarrhea and malnutrition. 

The best way to prevent your turtle from getting overweight or malnourished is by gradually introducing them to solid foods one meal at a time and monitoring their weight closely. If they start refusing food- indicating they’re starving- then it may be necessary to reduce his feeder dish size or switch him over to fresh vegetables instead of processed ones.