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What Do Land Turtles Eat? #Grapes #Bread #Shrimp #Tomatoes

Turtles, like their human counterparts, have varied interests in food. They like variety, and each of over 300 species of turtles has their own food preferences. Some of them are entirely carnivorous, while some other species are complete herbivores. However, a majority of turtles tend to be omnivorous, which means they eat both plants and animals.

What do land turtles eat? Terrestrial turtles or land turtles prefer eating a variety of food that can be both from plant sources and animal sources. Most of the land turtles eat animals such as earthworms, grubs, snails, beetles and caterpillars, and plant sources such as grasses, fruit, berries, mushrooms, and flowers.

Having gained a gist of what do land turtles eat, we will now check their eating habits in detail.

What do land turtles eat?

What do Land Turtles Eat?

If you have a land turtle such as a box turtle, it would be a good idea to understand their eating habits. The land turtles when young prefer a meat diet than vegetables. This is perhaps nature’s way of providing them with enough of proteins in the initial stage of their life. Once they mature, the land turtles begin to have a balanced diet.

It would be practical to offer both animal and plant food to your turtle and let the animal choose what it wants. She will prefer what they are looking to eat. When in the wild, the land turtles eat insects such as slugs, snails, earthworms, grasshoppers, and crickets. They would even feast on the carcasses of the dead frogs and other small animals.

If you have a land turtle as a pet, the best food you can serve can include:

  • Earthworms
  • Crickets
  • Mealworms
  • Wet dog food, that has a higher amount of chicken.

Mealworms are to be fed just as a treat as they do not have any nutritional value. Earthworms, crickets, and other similar insects can be sourced from your local pet store.

As for the vegetarian sources, you can feed them a mix of lettuce, cucumbers, mushrooms, and similar veggies, complemented with blueberries and strawberries. Feed it different fruits and vegetables to find which of them does your turtle prefer. You can even feed them bananas, but only as a special treat.

What Can Turtles Eat From Human Food?

Turtles can share most of the human food. Carrots, squash, zucchini, and similar vegetables can be fed to your turtle. You can even consider feeding them with edible vegetation that may include lettuce, water hyacinth, and duckweed.

Land turtles also eat fruits. Some of the human food that turtles can eat would include apples, melons, and chopped berries. Make sure, however, that you feed them apples and carrots in the shredded form.

Human food that turtles can eat would include:

  • Vegetables – Corns, carrots, beet, yams, and peas.
  • Protein sources – Boiled eggs, chicken meat in shredded form.
  • Fruits – Apples, grapes, banana, berries, kiwi, tomato, mango.
  • Flowers – Geraniums, dandelions, petunias, lilies, carnations
  • Leafy grains – Carrot tops, lettuce, collard greens, kale, spinach

Now, let us see a few specific food items which a land turtle can eat.

Can Turtles Eat Grapes?

Turtles can eat grapes but are advisable to feed them grapes only occasionally. A turtle is not picky about eating, and it would love to eat grapes. But, you should make sure that the grapes are fed either only on rare occasions or decide not to feed them grapes at all.

Grapes are high in sugar and have poor mineral content. The maximum fraction of the grapes in a turtle diet should not be more than 5 percent.  Grapes can have an incorrect calcium-phosphorus ratio and thus should ideally be rarely given.

Can Turtles Eat Bread?

Turtles should never be fed with bread as their digestive system does not have the enzymes for breaking down the food such as bread. Of course, your turtle will eat it, but it is not advisable because of the adverse health complications.

Your turtle can eat bread if you offer it to them, but since it does not have the enzymes to break it down, it will not have any nutritional benefit. Moreover, it may result in a few health issues as well.

Can Turtles Eat Tomatoes?

Turtles can eat Tomatoes, but they are rich in sugar and thus should be given only as a treat. Never feed tomatoes to your turtle on a regular basis. Do not feed tomatoes more than once in a week.

Tomatoes contain an excess of sugar, and they also have the right amount of acid content. This can make your turtle fall ill and develop health issues. It can bloat their stomach and result in diarrhea if given in a higher quantity.

Can Box Turtles Eat Oranges?

You can feed Oranges to your turtles but in a small quantity. Turtles do love variety and feeding them oranges can be one of the best ways to introduce variety in turtle food. However, make sure that you feed oranges in moderation.

There have been no proofs or studies to indicate any adverse effects of consuming oranges, but still then – it may be a good idea to exercise caution as with any fruit because of the high sugar content.

Can Box Turtles Eat Celery?

Turtles can eat celery as a means of introducing variety in their food. But it should be noticed that celery does come with any nutritional value. It contains a high amount of water and thus should be given as a mans of variety.

Make sure that celery is cut into very small pieces. Anything larger can make them choke and may even cause death.

Can Turtles Eat Tuna?

Turtles can eat Tuna. But, it would be advisable to feed the seafood such as Tuna in the pellet form. Make sure you mix it up with some other food.

Ideally, Tuna can be an excellent option to entice them into eating. You can buy the pellets made of Tuna or other fish from the pet stores and feed them to the turtle. Make sure that you are not feeding too much of Tuna as it can mess up their digestive system.

Can Painted Turtles Eat Strawberries?

Painted Turtles would love to eat strawberries as they are sweet and acidic in nature. Strawberries have been the favorite diet for the painted turtles. However, it may not be advisable to feed too much of strawberries.

Turtles need a bit of protein as well, and we would advise you to limit the strawberries and not make them a constant food item. Of course, strawberries can be a good option for providing a tasty snack at times.

Can Turtles Eat Raw Shrimp?

Shrimps are the best diet for the aquatic turtles, but land turtles may need to be habituated into it. You would need to ensure that you buy the right type of shrimp food from the pet store. Going through a check-up of what your turtle would love can be something practical.

The tiny dried shrimp that you feed to the fish may not be suitable for the turtles. You need to go with the larger ones if available. Please note that turtles would prefer eating dried shrimps than the raw shrimps.

Can Turtles Eat Raw Chicken?

Turtles can eat raw chicken, but it is advisable not to feed them raw chicken or any other form of meat as it can mean a severe bacterial contamination in many cases.

Turtles may not eat in one go, and thus raw meat can get tainted or even rot before your turtle can eat it. Offering small pieces of raw chicken when it is being prepared can be a good option, but saving a large portion of raw meat may not be advisable.

Can Red-Eared Slider Turtles Eat Bananas?

Your red-eared slider turtle can eat bananas. But, do note that it may not offer the complete balanced food to your pet. Turtles can eat bananas but in moderation. Too much of bananas can ruin their digestive system.

Bananas are rich in sugar and feeding them bananas regularly can make them develop health-related issues and thus may make them suffer a negative impact on their health.

Recommended Reading : Turtle and Tortoise

Water Turtle vs Land Turtle – How do They Differ?

The significant difference between the Land Turtles and Water Turtles lies in the fact that they are named differently. While we refer to every animal with the Shell on its back as turtles, the land turtles are typically referred to as tortoises, and aquatic or water turtles are called Turtles.

The land turtles need enough water to soak her Shell entirely in water, while the water turtles require enough of water to swim. Another difference would do them apart would include the lifespan that they can enjoy. Water turtles live up to 70 years, while land turtles can live for more than 150 years.

The Shell of the water turtles would ideally be leathery, and those of the land turtles tend to be harder enough. However, there may be exceptions where a water turtle may have hard Shell.

As with the diet, land turtles tend to be omnivores. The water turtles, on the other hand, can be omnivores, herbivores or carnivores. It would be totally dependent on their species.

We thought of sharing the differences between a land turtle and water turtle in a table –


Land Turtle

Water Turtle




Food Habits


Can be herbivorous, carnivorous or omnivorous

Shell Type



Water Requirements

Little to soak its shell

Ample room to swim


On land

In water

Breeding Season



Concluding Thoughts on What do Land Turtles Eats?

The eating habits of the turtles can vary based on their species. However, most of the captivated turtles can consume any type of food. You just need to take care to ensure that they are provided with a balanced diet. This would be helpful in the all-round development of your turtle babies. You can also see what do aquatic and sea turtles eat?

This was all about what a land turtle can eat. For any experiences and suggestions please write to us in the comments section below.

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