Once you've lived with a parakeet, you will understand that he has a personality that's far larger than his little feathered body. To know and love a parakeet means that you want the best for him, and that includes nutrition. The key to his health and happiness is variety.
Homemade and Store-Bought
There certainly are an assortment of choices on the market for seed mixtures and pellets that you can buy to feed your parakeet. When shopping the shelves at the local pet supply store, look for foods that have a variety of ingredients that are 100 percent human consumption grade. Items like bee pollen granules, nuts, dried fruits and vegetables, seeds, grains and herbs will work together to give your little pal a balanced diet. Quality foods may not include all of these ingredients, but even if they do, your parakeet will enjoy the change that supplementing his base diet frequently with alternative foods will bring. Plus, when you feed your parakeet homemade recipes, you can be assured of the freshness and quality of the ingredients you put into them.
Foods for Your Parakeet
Your parakeet probably enjoys seeds and there's not a thing wrong with that. However, there are so many other foods that he can benefit from, not just from the diversion from the usual, but from the nutritional value as well. In "Parakeets for Dummies" Nikki Moustaki offers a list of vegetables and fruits that are good for your parakeet, including hot peppers, peas, zucchini, apples, bananas, peaches and oranges. In addition to fruits and vegetables, Avian Web recommends sprouted seeds as part of a nutritious diet for parakeets, as they are high in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and vegetable proteins.
Sharing Your Meals
If your parakeet shows interest in what you're eating, most times its okay to give him a little taste. Eggs, for instance, are a nourishing addition to your bird's basic diet and can be served to him boiled or scrambled. If you're boiling them, make sure they are hard boiled, cooking them long enough to ensure that a disease from the chicken won't be passed on to your feathered friend. He'll enjoy eating hard boiled eggs cooled and mashed up, shells and all. Breakfast cereals are another treat your little one will benefit from and take pleasure in, too. Oatmeal, cooked or dry, and unsweetened ring-shaped oat cereal are other favorites for parakeets. Whole grain bread or crackers (unsalted) are fun snacks that have interesting textures.
A Home-Cooked Meal
If you'd like to try your hand at home making some food for your parakeet, an easy recipe starts out with cooking five ounces of beans from a 15 bean soup mix, after you've removed the lima beans and the spice envelope. Chop up one cup of fresh vegetables and combine them in a bowl with the cooked beans, 1/4 cup of cooked whole wheat pasta, and 3/4 cup of frozen mixed vegetables. You can add 1/4 cup of fresh berries, too, if your parakeet likes them. Make a large batch of this cooked food for your bird and freeze it, only thawing what he'll eat in one sitting. Also, don't let the uneaten food sit in his bowl for longer than a couple of hours. The cooked food won't be good after that and your parakeet can become ill from eating spoiled food.
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.