Can Parrots Eat Human Food?

Parrots can eat human foods and can eat almost all foods that humans can. Much like humans, not all foods are suitable for parrots, though they may love it regardless.

With several parrot species, there are different possible diet combinations for parrots, human food inclusive. It is up to you to find out which human foods your parrot likes and decide whether or not to feed it to the parrot.

In most cases, you can feed your parrot directly from your plate and they will be more than happy to eat it. Parrots don’t know the difference between harmful and healthy, and choose food based on appeal or preference.

If given the choice, your parrot will likely choose what’s bad for them over the better alternative. You may even find that your parrot prefers human food to theirs.

You can supplement your parrot’s diet with human food especially if you are looking to make it more attractive. Too much human food and the bird may get too used to it, and abandon their diet altogether.

Is Human Food Good For Parrots?

Most human foods are suitable for parrots, and they may even prefer it to theirs. Much like with humans, some foods are good for them while others aren’t.

You’ll find that many parrots will prefer to eat human food over theirs, even when it isn’t good for them. Parrots are curious animals and are instantly attracted to anything you put in your mouth.

Human food is good for parrots, but you still need to exercise some restraint. Too much human food can be detrimental to a parrot, not to mention addictive. Human foods typically contain too much salt, sugar or fats for a parrot.

Consistently feeding them human foods can hurt their health. You should feed them human food in small quantities, infrequently to keep them healthy while still maintaining their appetites. 

You should identify which human foods are good for parrots and which aren’t. Never feed your parrot human foods that are toxic to them as the effects can be severe or in some cases, fatal. 

Human Foods That Are Good For Parrots:

To help you keep your parrot happy and healthy, here are some of the top human foods that are good for parrots:

French Fries

Potatoes are fine for parrots, and this extends to include french fries. A tasty snack that parrots love, this food should be fed in small quantities. This food has high salt and fat content and should only be used sparingly. Half a chip is more than enough if you have to feed it to your parrot.   


Scrambled or boiled, it makes no difference to your parrot. Simply avoid too much salt or oil, or don’t use any to ensure it remains healthy for your parrot. Some parrots even enjoy eating the shells as well. 


Chicken is a rich source of protein and most parrots love it. Cooked chicken is the ideal choice, but this should not be a frequent occurrence. Cut the chicken down into tiny pieces or shreds before feeding it to your parrot.  


Fruits are generally a healthy human food and parrots love them. Almost any organic food is fine provided you remove seeds and cut them up into smaller pieces first. You should also wash properly to reduce the chances of germs. 


Another excellent option for your parrot. Vegetables are filled with essential nutrients your parrot needs. It is best to feed them fresh vegetables but in its absence, frozen vegetables are still acceptable. Some healthy vegetable parrots love include carrots, beets, tomatoes, and zucchini.  

Peanut Butter 

Peanut butter is delicious, and most people love it, and so do most parrots.

The fat content of peanut butter is typically a bad option for birds, but the right brand will have low fat. You can smear peanut butter over other foods, especially one you want your parrot to eat


Shrimp isn’t something you’d expect parrots to love, but they still do. A little shrimp cut up into little pieces should be fine for your parrot. Simply ensure the shrimp is well cooked to ensure there are no microorganisms active.


Bread is another food that parrots love, but there are a few limitations that should be observed.

Only serve them crumbs as opposed to slices, or cut-up pieces. You also need bread that is low in sugar as too much sugar isn’t ideal for parrots


Yoghurt is another great human food for parrots, despite its dairy background. Diary products are typically ill-advised for parrots, but with yoghurt, your parrot will be fine. Ensure you don’t feed your parrot too much yoghurt due to its lactose aversion. 


Rice is the most common human food in the world and it’s no surprise that parrots love it too. While birds can eat it, it should only be fed in moderation. Brown and black rice are the healthier rice options and contain more nutrients for your parrot. 

Human Foods That Parrots Should Avoid:

Some Human foods are best left to humans alone and feeding them to your parrot won’t end well. Here are some of the top human foods that you should keep away from parrots:


As much as humans love chocolates, it is toxic to parrots. Your parrot may be aching for a taste, but you shouldn’t let it have any. Any other snacks containing chocolate, especially dark chocolate should also be kept away from your parrot. 


While fruits are a great option for parrots, avocados aren’t. A toxin known as persin is found in avocados and it is typically deadly, and possibly fatal. All parts of the avocado are dealy to the parrot, though some like the the pit and skin are deadlier than others.


It goes without saying that alcohol isn’t suitable for birds including parrots. To be clear, your parrot can ingest small quantities, but they shouldn’t. The negative effects of alcohol are amplified in parrots, which could cause damage to their organs, or kill them. 


Eating the components of sushi isn’t the problem, but the rawness of it is. Parrots shouldn’t eat foods that are uncooked or undercooked as it may cause them stomach problems. They can eat cooked rice and fish especially when it is freshly cooked. 

Factors To Consider When Feeding Human Food To A Parrot

There are a few things to consider to consider when feeding human food to a parrot. Some of them are:

Smaller Portions

Always cut up human food into smaller portions before feeding them to parrots. The parrot will still peck at it and likely break it down, but they may gorge themselves.

With smaller portions, you can also avoid wastage and control how much food your parrot gets. If the portions are small enough, your parrot can eat them directly without needing to break them down. 

Nutritional content

Much like humans, parrots have nutritional requirements. As feeding them human food is meant to be infrequent, there isn’t too much emphasis on it being a balanced diet.

Instead, you need to ensure it doesn’t contain harmful substances or too much salt and fat. Salt and fat are harmful to parrots, especially in large quantities. A little nibble once in a while is fine, provided there isn’t too much of it available.  


Before feeding any human food to your parrot, it should be well cooked. With fruits, you should wash them properly before cutting them up for them. Cooking and washing help kill any microorganisms from being on the food, and not poisoning the parrot.

Risks Associated With Feeding Human Food To Parrots:

Parrots love human foods with some of them preferring it to theirs. Unfortunately, feeding your parrot human food is not entirely without risks. There are a few risks you should consider and they include. 

Unfamiliar Diseases:

Human diseases are foreign to parrots and prove to be very devastating. If your food contains pathogens or disease carriers and is fed to your parrot, you risk infecting them. As they are familiar with human diseases, exposure to these pathogens can sometimes be fatal. 

If you have multiple parrots, some human diseases are easily transmitted between them through mouthfeeding.

It is relatively easy to start an epidemic simply by feeding your parrot human food. To ensure such scenarios are avoided, you can stop feeding them human food, or only serve them freshly cooked, or properly washed ones. 

Attracting Predators:

Just as your parrot loves human foods, so do some other nearby birds. It can draw other birds to the vicinity, bringing with them diseases and pathogens that are foreign to your parrot. It can also draw some predator birds and end up harming your parrot in the long run. 

Food crumbs and particles can also attract a rodent infestation, especially when your parrot is located somewhere accessible. You can combat this by only feeding your parrot in small portions to ensure there are no leftovers.

Can Parrots Eat Human Food? Conclusion

Parrots can eat many human foods safely and you can even feed them directly from your plate. Most parrots are interested in eating anything you are, and will always jump at a chance to have a piece. You should ensure you only feed them harmless foods, as they aren’t designed for human foods. 

You also need to consider whether or not the food is in line with your parrot’s diet. Different parrot species have different needs and they need to be met, even when dealing with human foods. 


What is the best human food for parrots?

Seeds and nuts are considered the best human foods for parrots with vegetables being another popular choice. There is a wide range of seeds and nuts that your parrot will love, and most of them are parrot-friendly. Seeds and nuts don’t typically carry pathogens and microorganisms making them the perfect human food for parrots.

You only need to consider your parrot’s preferences when feeding them seeds or nuts. 

Some of the seeds and nuts that are commonly fed to parrots include Brazil nuts, hazel nuts and peanuts. You can also feed your parrot by-products from seeds and nuts like peanut butter. Simply avoid those with high salt and fat content when dealing with processed versions. 

How many times should I feed my parrot?

A parrot should be fed at least twice a day, but they also need to have access to food at all times. Parrots are big eater and will need treats and snacks in addition to their meals.

Each meal should represent at least one-fifth of the total meal your parrot eats in a day when snacks are available. Some people choose to feed their parrots directly when they are eating.

Once they run out of food in the cage, be sure to top it off so they don’t go hungry. Simply ensure that there isn’t human food lying around as that can attract rodents and pests. 

What is a parrot’s favourite food?

Each parrot is different and will have its unique favourite food. Most parrots typically love vegetables, with zucchinis, shredded carrots and kale among the top options.

You can easily identify your parrot’s favourite option by how much they enjoy eating it. You also need to consider the parrot species as some of them just love to eat, regardless of the food you give them. 

Parrots also love fruits with bananas and papaya among the most popular options. Most fruits are fine with parrots, but you should avoid giving them avocados. Avocados are poisonous and can prove fatal to a parrot. 

How do I know if my parrot is hungry?

Much like humans, parrots are very vocal when they are hungry. While humans can simply convey this thought, parrots opt for squawking, and screeching when hungry. They may also bang on their cage if they are in one.

Free parrots may peck at surfaces where food is often found in a bid to satisfy their hunger. 

You can avoid any display of hunger by ensuring your parrot constantly has food in its cage. Keep the size small and only top it up when it is running low. This will help keep unwanted predators away, and ensure your parrot never falls to hunger. 

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