Can Turtles Eat Bananas? Safe Banana Pudding Recipe For Turtles

Jun 1, 2021

can turtles eat bananas

Did you know banana is actually a berry? This popular fruit can be found all year round. A great source of potassium and magnesium, it is vital for fluid balance. It also helps in transmitting nerves and regulating muscles to let us know what we can daily. But do bananas work the same wonders for turtles? 

Can turtles eat bananas? Yes, turtles can eat bananas. Turtles in the wild have been found to climb over banana trees and eat ripe and unripe bananas. You can occasionally feed your turtle bananas for a change in diet. But remember, bananas do not contain high traces of Vitamin A and D that turtles need. Thus, give bananas only in moderation. 

Do Turtles Like Bananas?

Bananas are rare findings in most turtles’ native habitats. If you give them one, it will be a strange addition to their diet. So there are chances of a turtle not liking bananas. Most turtles will just take a nib and will not eat. There are videos on the internet of turtles disliking bananas. 

However, it cannot be said for every turtle. You might want to try feeding a small piece and see whether he likes it or not.

Here’s a video of turtles not eating bananas when offered:

Banana is a superfruit that is rich in fiber and has high amounts of vitamins and minerals. But does it fare well for turtles? Let’s find out. 

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Are Bananas Healthy For Turtles?

Bananas are healthy and safe for turtles. This nutritious snack is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Though safe for your turtle, it shouldn’t be your pet’s primary food as it can cause obesity in turtles when overfed. 

First, bananas are high in sugar, which can cause weight gain. Turtles in captivity do not get enough exercise as they don’t have to forage as their wild cousins do. So adding bananas regularly to his diet can be unhealthy.

Having known that bananas are safe if given in considerable amounts, let’s find out the calorie count in bananas. 

With several types of bananas available, the only way to approximate their calorie is by their size. 

Table For Calorie Count Per The Size Of Bananas

SizeInchesGramsCalorie
Extra SmallLess than 6 inches8172
Small6 to 7 inches10089
Medium7 to 8 inches118105
Large8-9 inches136121
Extra LargeMore than 9 inches152135
Sliced 1 Cup134134
Mashed1 Cup225200

Nutrition Table For Banana

For a serving size of 100 gram containing 89 calories.

Nutrient Amount
Total Fat0.3gm
Saturated Fat0.1gm
Sodium1mg
Total Carbohydrate23gm
Dietary Fiber 2.6gm
Sugar12gm
Protein1.1gm
Vitamin D0
Calcium5mg
Iron0.26mg
Potassium358mg

Vitamins Found In Bananas

banana
Banana

Vitamin B6

In humans, vitamin B6 helps maintain healthy nerves, skin, and red blood cells. However, they do not factor much into a turtle’s health. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a must for humans as it prevents scurvy and other skin-related diseases. It is also one of the few vitamins which our body cannot store, so we have to consume it daily. However, vitamin C has no significant value in a turtle’s growth or body. 

A study on juvenile red-eared sliders showed no significant differences in the two experimental groups. One group was given vitamin C daily, and another group wasn’t. However, despite the lack of vitamin C in the excluded group, they showed normal growth and development similar to another group that received Vitamin C supplements. 

So if both these vitamins do not factor in a turtle’s healthy growth or other health benefits, which vitamins do turtles require?

Unlike humans, turtles do not require every type of vitamin to remain healthy. For a turtle to be healthy, it requires Vitamin A and Vitamin D (D3). Other vitamins have negligible benefits to their health. 

Which Vitamins Are Important For Turtles?

A turtle
A Box Turtle

Vitamin A

Lack of vitamin A causes vision problems in turtles. Vitamin A is required for healthy mucous membranes and ducts. Alongside vision problems, respiratory infections are also the result of vitamin A deficit. 

If you find any suspicious symptom, you shouldn’t wait for it out. However, as a responsible caretaker, you need to prevent rather than cure these common problems. 

Include leafy greens (kale), sweet potatoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes to fulfill vitamin A in your turtle’s diet. 

Like most turtle owners, I also take the help of over-the-counter supplements like this one from Nature Zone. 

I usually add a few drops to my turtle’s food to ensure vitamin A intake is fulfilled. 

Vitamin D3

A turtle’s body produces Vitamin D3 when it receives UV light from any natural or artificial source that emits UVB rays. These vitamins boost the baby turtle’s ability to use stored calcium necessary for the healthy growth of the shell. Other benefits include skin nourishment and maintenance of a rigid skeletal framework. 

Now that you know the importance of Vitamin D3, you need to know how your turtle can get the UV rays he needs. 

  1. Place your turtle tank in a place where the sunlight falls from morning to evening. 
  2. Keep UV lights above the basking area. Read the instructions written on the lamp’s manual for the correct distance between light and the basking area. 
  3. While getting a UV light, make sure you get a light that emits both UVA and UVB rays.

I’ve switched from the classic two-bulb setup to the mercury vapor lamp that emits UVA and UVB light. It takes up less space and needs one less holder but does the job perfectly. 

Minerals Found In Banana

Bananas have vital minerals like potassium and manganese. Though these minerals have immense contributions to our body, they do not do such wonders with turtles. 

So, in a nutshell, bananas do not have the necessary vitamins or minerals for turtles.

Can You Give Banana Peel To Your Turtle? Is Banana Peel Safe For Turtles?

Banana peel
Banana peel

It might surprise you, but most turtles prefer banana peels rather than the banana itself. But is it safe? Well, it isn’t. These peels are brimmed with preservatives to increase shelf life. So, your turtle might be susceptible to severe health issues after consuming banana peel.

How Many Bananas Can You Give To Your Turtle?

Bananas are relatively less nutritious for your turtle. Too much of it and it can make your turtle fat. So, if it’s the first time you are feeding a banana to your turtle, provide one average-sized banana that week. If you have introduced another fruit the same week, save that banana for another week.

As your turtle gets familiar with eating bananas, you can treat him with bananas at a 3-day interval.

What If Your Turtle Doesn’t Like Bananas?

Yes, it is possible that turtles might not like bananas. Turtles can be picky about what they eat. So take your time and leave the small slices of bananas for your turtles to nibble. If they still won’t eat then, here’s a banana pudding you can prepare for your turtle.

Banana Pudding Recipe For Turtles

Ingredients:

  • 1 piece of banana
  • Regular turtle pellets
  • Can of fish food
  • Blood worms & krills

The recipe is quick and straightforward. Here’s how you can make a banana pudding for your turtle at home.

  1. Slice bananas and put them into a bowl. 
  2. Add a can of fish food like krill, bloodworms, etc. Pour only 1/8th portion.
  3. Pour your turtle’s favorite pellets in the same bowl. 
  4. Add 50ml of water for proper blending.
  5. Now pour all these ingredients into the food blender. 
  6. Keep the mixture in the refrigerator and leave it for a night.
  7. The next day, add some gelatin powder to the mixture. Adding gelatin will give a jelly-like texture to the pudding.
  8. Cut them into small pieces and serve your turtle. 

Frequently Asked Questions

A Box Turtle
A Box Turtle

Can Box Turtles Eat Bananas?

Yes, box turtles can eat bananas. But bananas have a significant amount of sugar in them, which might make your turtle fat. So if you want to feed your turtle bananas, you can provide him once a week.

Can Eastern Box Turtles Eat Bananas?

Yes, eastern box turtles can eat bananas. Make sure you feed once a week, which is a considerable amount of banana for a turtle. Too much banana causes obesity in eastern box turtles, just like with every other turtle. 

Can Desert Box Turtles Eat Bananas?

All box turtles can eat bananas. However, they shouldn’t be fed as a substitute food for your turtle’s staple diet. Use it as a treat to be provided once a week. Due to the high amount of sugar, bananas can cause obesity if your turtle consumes them often.

Read More:

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References:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/20095794?seq=1

rohit gurung author at urbanfishkeeping

About Rohit Gurung

My never-ending love and fascination with Aquascaping started when I received a red-eared turtle for my 10th birthday.

Apart from researching and writing, I spend hours gazing at my 3 turtles. And yeah, I bask alongside them too.