Being an omnivore, your parakeet can eat a lot of things other than seeds. But he's not a puppy; you can't just feed him table scraps and whatever's around as treats. Try giving him dry fruit as a snack to supplement and add variety to his diet.
He'll Love 'Em
Since fruit is a natural element to a parakeet's diet, feeding your little feathered friend dried fruit will be a treat for him, and they're good for him, too. According to Avian Web, there is almost no difference in the vitamins and nutrients in dried fruits compared with those in fresh fruit. He might enjoy nibbling on the chewy snacks, or you might catch your parakeet dipping them in water and rehydrating them before eating. Be careful, though, when buying dried fruit for your birdie. Read packaging labels and buy only dehydrated fruit that is unsulfured, has no artificial colors or flavorings and has no preservatives or added sugar.
Dried Veggies, Too
When you expand your parakeet's dietary horizons by adding dry fruits to his list of snacks, consider dried vegetables, too. Just as with dry fruit, the nutritional value of dried veggies is the same, as fresh and dehydrated foods won't go bad like fresh fruits and vegetables can. Dried peas, carrots and bell peppers are examples of dried fruits your parakeet will enjoy, and you won't have to be concerned about them going bad in his dish.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Just because your parakeet will enjoy dried fruits and vegetables, that's no reason to limit or eliminate their fresh counterparts. "Parakeets for Dummies" lists a number of fruits and vegetables that are good for your little pal including all varieties of berries, kiwis, grapes, pears, spinach, yams and zucchini. The Budgie Place recommends chopping up an assortment of fruits and vegetables to make a bird salad, or clipping greens like clean fresh spinach leaves to the side of his cage so he can play at shredding them as he eats. Fresh fruits and vegetables can go sour or bad within just a few hours if not eaten, especially in warm weather. Remember to remove fresh fruits and vegetables from your parakeet's cage if they remain uneaten after two or three hours to avoid making him ill.
Other Healthy Snacks for the 'Keets
Variety in your parakeet's diet is the key to a happy, healthy bird. Feeding him a quality pellet or seed mix as a base for his nutrition is great, but offer him other snacks to complement his diet and keep things interesting. Whole grains are a healthy supplement for your bird; you can give them to him in different forms, such as dry breakfast cereals, whole grain breads or crackers (salt-free, of course).
Dry pasta and graham crackers are other birdie favorites that you little feathered one will enjoy. In her book on parakeets, Nikki Moustaki writes that any healthy "people" food can be a beneficial addition to your parakeet's diet and that a parakeet may actually become healthier if you share your meals with him.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.