Red Eared Slider Food List – Best Foods In 2022

Red Eared Sliders are one of the popular variants of the turtle as a pet. It arrives with a beautiful appearance and playful behavior, which makes it very popular for individuals. They are also tolerant of various conditions, including temperature, pH level, water, and hardness, making them a suitable pet for the beginners.

You have grounded in the right place if you are searching for the Red Eared slider food list. Keep reading the pieces of the paragraph to know what you should offer to the turtles and what not to offer, along with the feeding schedule.

Red Eared Slider Food List

Food List of Red Eared Slider

The commercially available pellets are a good source of required nutrition for the turtle. However, you shouldn’t entirely rely on the pellets all the time. Instead, bring variation in the food habit of the turtle by offering various natural foods.

If you have red-eared slider turtles, you will be glad to know that the species is not fussy about the food, like the other variants. In fact, you will often find them begging for the food. They can consume a variety of items in the wild, including prey, plants, and vegetables.

Below, we will list some foods that you can offer to the red-eared slider.

Prey Foods

Red-eared sliders are very fond of the prey items. You can give them crickets, silkworms, waxworms, earthworms, aquatic snails, shrimp, krill, daphnia, and mealworms. You can offer the prey directly to the adult turtles. The prey needs to be cut into smaller pieces for smaller turtles.

You can also offer larger prey like feeder fish, tadpoles, etc. to the bigger and adult turtles. However, they shouldn’t be provided regularly due to excessive fat. More so, they can carry parasites and other things like that.

Aquatic Plants

You can also offer aquatic plants to the red-eared turtle both in pond and aquarium. The turtle love to consume aquatic plants as a snack. Besides, the plants work as a backup filtration, increase oxygen content, and enhance the beauty of the tank. The plants also help to resembles the natural home of the turtles.

You can add a variety of aquatic plants in the aquarium or pond of the turtle. They include different submerged plants like water hyacinth, water lettuce, duckweed, Anacharis, Azolla, frog-bit, etc.

Leafy Greens

The red-eared turtle also loves leafy green vegetables. You must offer the leafy green vegetables to the turtle on an appropriate quantity to ensure proper diet. Notably, the chopped dark leafy green vegetables such as the kale, collards, mustard greens, etc. are incredibly healthy for your turtle. More so, you can also feed it squash, shredded carrots, zucchini, melons, shredded apples, chopped berries, etc. fruits.

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Make sure to rinse the vegetable and fruits thoroughly before giving. Also, offer the fruits in a tiny quantity to the turtle. The range should not be more than once a month.

Nutrition Supplements

You may not ensure all the nutrition required for the turtle from only from the foods in captivity. So, you may offer calcium, vitamin D3, and reptile multivitamin to the turtle by mixing with its meals. Another way to ensure the calcium supply is by putting cuttlebone in the turtle tank.

What Not to Offer to Read Eared Sliders

Though the turtle is a gourmand, there are some foods that you should never offer to the turtle. Check them out from below:

  1. Some of the experts condemn to feed fresh fruits like berries, apples, melon, banana, etc. to the turtle. Note that these foods are not harmful to the turtle, but they can cause diarrhea. If you are willing to offer fruits to the turtle, give it in a small quantity.
  2. Never feed the red-eared turtle frozen fish very often as they may increase the high level of enzymes that destroy vitamin B1.
  3. You need to be careful while catching the wild prey for the turtle as they may contain pesticides. The same rule goes for vegetables like dandelion greens and others.
  4. Cooked meat like beef and chicken are not suitable for the turtle as they don’t offer balanced nutrition. Such foods can also cause foul water very quickly. The high protein content of the diet can also cause kidney disease of the turtle.
  5. Don’t offer raw meat and chicken to the turtle as they cause bacteria contamination for both the turtle and owner.

Feeding Schedule for Red Eared Sliders

You need to know the age of the turtle to offer it the right amount of food regularly. Don’t worry if you don’t acknowledge the age as you can easily find it out. You can easily determine the age of the turtle by giving a closer look at its shell.

If the turtle has 2 to 3 inches and bright green shells, it is around six months old. If it has a 4 inches shell and dark green or brown shell, it is six months to 2 years old. Besides, the turtle should be more than two years old if the crust is browner/ blacker and 4 to 12 inches long.

Adult Red-Eared Slider Feeding Schedule

The Adult Red-Eared Slider Feeding Schedule is a way to ensure your pet stays healthy and well-nourished. This feeding schedule provides you with the necessary information on how much, and how often, to feed your red-eared slider.

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MondayOne chopped red bell pepper,
Calcium supplement.
Large handful of kale,
One chopped carrot,
WednesdayTwo minnows,
Pinch of fish food pellets."
"yLarge handful of kale,
Two earthworms,
FridayPinch of commercial turtle food,
Calcium supplement."
"Large handful of kale,
2-3 aquatic ferns,
1-2 blueberries,
SundayLarge handful of kale,
One chopped carrot,
Small handful of chopped swiss chard.

Baby Red-Eared Slider Feeding Schedule

“A baby red-eared slider’s diet should consist of:

  1. Small live fish
  2. Canned baby food
  3. Reptile pellets

Be sure to offer a variety of food items to ensure your baby red-eared slider gets the nutrition it needs.

SaturdayTurtle food (follow feeding instructions on container),
2-3 insects,
Small handful of swiss chard.
Monday3-4 small feeder fish,
Small handful of mustard greens,
Pinch of turtle pellets.
Tuesday3-4 earthworms,
Small handful of kale,
Half of a chopped carrot,
Calcium supplement.
Wednesday2 redworms,
3-4 crickets or mealworms,
Small handful of baby spinach,
Half a chopped bell pepper.
Thursday3-4 small feeder fish,
Small handful of kale,
2 small worms.
Friday3-4 large worms,
3-4 crickets/mealworms,
Small handful of spinach,
1-2 blueberries.

Here is the quantity and range of foods that you should offer to the turtle as per it ages:


The best food for the hatchling red-eared turtle is vegetables. Offer the turtle a few vegetables regularly, even if it doesn’t consume. Apart from the plants, you can offer it pellets to ensure protein supply. Let me repeat – you should continue providing the food even it doesn’t eat. The turtle will start consuming the meals as it becomes okay with the environment.


You can offer a small number of vegetables to the juvenile turtle like the hatchlings. The turtle will eat occasionally, but you still need to provide the food daily. You will also offer different pellets to the turtle once within two days. Give it different proteins once in a week. 


The red-eared slider will require less amount of protein-filled food and more amount of vegetables in this period. As we said earlier, the turtle will always look hungry, and you will need to give them vegetables in bulk. However, make sure not to over-feed them. Offer protein to the turtle twice within one week. You can reduce the protein supply to once within a week as they get older.

Red-eared turtle can be a great companion of any human being. There playful and charming attitude can easily create a smile in your face. Hopefully, the above guides will help you ensure proper food and food schedule for the red-eared turtle.

For more Concern of your Turtle, Your can also follow the Turtle Diet Chart:

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