It is not recommended that bearded dragons eat baby food. Some owners use baby food as a treat or to coax their lizards into eating vegetables or greens. This isn’t a recommended practice since baby food is often high in sugar and may have other additives that can harm your bearded dragon.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Is baby food harmful to bearded dragons?
- Why is it not recommended to feed baby food to bearded dragons?
- What can I feed my bearded dragon?
In addition, baby food is not part of the natural diet of a bearded dragon. Your bearded dragon should get a well-balanced and varied diet of live insects, vegetables, and greens. Fresh fruits for bearded dragons can substitute as an alternative treat instead of baby food from time to time.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Human Baby Food?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat human baby food and are often reported to enjoy these as a nice treat by some owners. However, it’s not a good practice since baby food tends to be high in sugar and may have all sorts of additives and preservatives that can be harmful to bearded dragons. You should consult your veterinarian if you’d really like to incorporate baby food into your bearded dragon’s diet as a treat.
Sometimes, baby food is a convenient option to provide a high caloric slurry in case your bearded dragon needs to be syringe fed if it is sick or lethargic and refusing food.
Can Baby Food Be The Main Source Of Nutrition For My Beardie?
No. Baby food will not give your bearded dragon the correct nutritional profile that it needs. It also tends to be high in sugar which is bad for your bearded dragon.
Though it may seem like a convenient way to work some fruits and vegetables into your bearded dragon’s diet, it will benefit more from whole, natural, leafy greens and other vegetables which will provide the full range of nutritional benefits for your dragon. Live feeder insects such as crickets and dubia roaches should be its main protein source.
You should invest in a good supplement (calcium, vitamin D3, and multivitamins) for your bearded dragon instead of turning to baby food as a source of nutrition or treats. These supplements can be offered as dustings on your bearded dragon’s food or as a gut load for live feeders (insects) before feeding.
Why We Don’t Recommend Baby Food For Bearded Dragons
Baby food is often high in sugar and can have different additives and preservatives that can harm your bearded dragon even in small amounts. Though it is a quick, high caloric slurry that can sometimes be given to sick bearded dragons, it should never be part of its regular diet. It may lead to health problems such as obesity in the long run.
With any exotic animal in captivity, it’s better to mimic its natural diet as much as possible to give it a long and healthy life. Bearded dragons can actually eat a wide range of live feeder insects, leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables so you have a lot to choose from.
Baby food is actually quite expensive and will cost you more in the long run versus buying fresh greens, vegetables, and fruit. You can also make your own baby food by mashing up your dragon’s regular food if it has eating problems.
Which Types of Baby Food Are Ok?
If you must feed your beardie baby food, go for the vegetables like squash or pumpkin. Choose the kinds that are based on the food that your bearded dragon would normally eat. Read the label carefully and check the sugar content. Opt for those marked organic or natural and free from preservatives.
Stay away from those made from fruit since these usually have a higher sugar content. Don’t buy those with a lot of preservatives and additives as well.
Keep in mind that bearded dragons are lizards from dry, arid, climates that naturally live on insects and some plants. Baby food is not part of their natural diet. Only feed your dragon baby food if you have a reason to (e.g. you need to boost its diet in some way) or if your veterinarian recommends it.
Which Baby Foods Are Not Ok?
Stay away from most baby foods especially ones made from fruit since these have a high sugar content. Don’t buy those with a lot of preservatives and additives as well.
Are Certain Brands Of Baby Food Better Than Others?
If you cannot stay away from baby food for your bearded dragon, go for the organic and natural brands and stay away from the highly commercial ones that tend to have more preservatives and additives.
Quick Bearded Dragon Feeding Guide
Some feeding tips for picky eaters / how to get your bearded dragon to eat vegetables
If you are resorting to baby food as a way to coax your dragon to eat more vegetables, then try these tips first if you have a picky eater.
- Be patient. Keep offering leafy greens and vegetables. Leave a plate with veggies in with your beardie for a while. Bearded dragons are more grazers in the wild so they may just nip a little bit from leafy greens from time to time throughout the day. Just make sure to take out uneaten food at the end of the day.
- If you have a juvenile bearded dragon, they may not take to eating greens immediately but will grow to like them as adults since they will need more of these in their diet as they mature. Be patient and persistent.
- Offer treats such as mealworms or superworms with your vegetables. Some owners hand feed worms or feeder insects to their dragons and then sneak in a small piece of greens to get their dragon used to the taste bit by bit.
- Make your own vegetable slurry or “baby food” by using a blender to mash your greens and vegetables with a bit of apple or fresh fruit thrown in to make it more palatable.
- Mix it up. Bearded dragons can eat a variety of greens, vegetables, fruits, and even flowers so try other variants to see what your dragon likes.
- If you notice a loss of appetite in your bearded dragon, check that it is getting the correct lighting and temperature levels in its enclosure as this can affect its metabolism and digestion. You may also want to provide calcium supplements such as well as vitamin D3, and a multivitamin for your bearded dragon.
- Providing good hydration via a water dish and their weekly bath will also help in your beardie’s digestion.
Read More >> Can Bearded Dragons Have Apples?
Greens, vegetables, and fruits you can feed your bearded dragon:
- Acorn Squash
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Butternut squash
- Bell peppers
- Bok Choy
- Broccoli (in moderation)
- Collard Greens
- Green Beans
- Mustard Greens
- Sweet potato
- Turnip Greens
- Flowers (capeweed, rose petals)
Insects, live prey, or meat you can feed your bearded dragon:
- Dubia Roaches
- Wax Worms
- Pink mice and rats
- Low-fat meats
- Organ meat (chicken or ox heart and liver)
- Commercial Bearded Dragon/Iguana food
Foods to avoid:
- Fireflies (Photinus sp.)
- Monarch butterflies
- Queen butterflies
- Lygaeid bugs
- Nuts and seeds
- Citrus Fruits
- Other wild caught insects that can have pesticides or parasites
How often can I feed my beardie baby food?
It’s not recommended that you feed bearded dragons baby food because of its high sugar content and possible addition of preservatives. If you really must, treat these as a once in a blue moon treat rather than a staple in their diets.
Can baby food be the main food source?
No. Baby food will not give your dragon the full nutritional requirements it needs to grow healthy and happy and stay free from any illness.
Bearded dragons should have a well balanced diet and should be fed a variety of fresh, natural, and organically sourced greens, vegetables, and fruits as well as responsibly bred feeder insects free from parasites.
Juvenile bearded dragons will need more protein from feeder insects and some fiber from leafy greens and vegetables. As they mature into adult bearded dragons, they will need more leafy greens in their diet.
The high sugar content, additives, and preservatives that may be present in baby food can cause obesity, diabetes, malnutrition, and other illnesses to your dragon in the long run.
Can Bearded dragons eat chicken baby food?
Yes but, baby food is not recommended for bearded dragons. On occasion, it may be offered as a quick and easy source of protein especially for sick bearded dragons that need to be slurry fed. The protein can help bearded dragons heal if they cannot get these from feeder insects. Always consult your veterinarian if your bearded dragon is sick.
Again, keep in mind that cooked meat normally found in baby food is nutritionally different from the protein source that a bearded dragon’s body is used to which are insects. Live feeder insects would be the best protein source for your dragon.
Is baby food a good substitute for crickets?
No, crickets and other live feeder insects are the best sources of protein and other vitamins and minerals for your pet. Baby food can sometimes be used as a quick slurry for sick bearded dragons or as a very rare treat but it shouldn’t become part of your dragon’s regular diet.
Though bearded dragons can eat baby food, it is not recommended due to its high sugar content and poor nutritional value, not to mention being more expensive than whole, natural food. Provide your bearded dragon with the proper balanced diet of fresh greens and vegetables plus live feeder insects instead and it will be healthier for it. On some occasions, baby food can be a quick slurry for syringe feeding ailing bearded dragons. Baby food should never be a regular part of your bearded dragon’s diet.
Quick care sheet on bearded dragons (PDF):
Bearded dragon husbandry
Very detailed husbandry manual for bearded dragons (PDF):
Husbandry Guidelines for Bearded Dragons
Comprehensive list of plants that reptiles can eat:
Edible Plants List
An article tackling some feeding myths found online:
Fact Vs. Fiction on food for herbivorous reptiles
A good list of vegetable and fruit names for omnivores:
Vegetable and Fruit Names: A Multi-Lingual Glossary for Herbivorous and Omnivorous Reptile Keepers