What Do Baby Turtles Eat

Baby turtles are special little creatures. It takes a lot more knowledge and effort to care for them, versus adult turtles. Baby turtles, just like the young of any other species, require certain nutrients and feeding methods to ensure that they are receiving all that they need nutritionally.

The necessary diet of baby turtles may vary from one breed to the next, but generally speaking, they are similar diets. It’s especially important to understand a baby turtle diet if you have intentions of adopting a young turtle to have as a pet.

What Kind of Baby Turtle Do You Have?

It’s important to know what species of baby turtle it is that you are dealing with before trying to feed them anything. Their type of jaw they have varies from one species to the next and this significantly impacts their diet. 

Some turtles are omnivores, meaning they will eat meat and vegetation. While there are other species of turtles who are strictly herbivores (they only eat plants). The type of jaw they have that is unique to their species plays a big role in the type of diet they eat. This is because some turtles have jaws that are made to chew and tear at meat, while others are not. 

For instance, leatherback sea turtles have razor-sharp beaks that allow them to feast on other animals such as jellyfish in the wild. On the other hand, your typical green sea turtles are herbivores and enjoy eating sea plants such as algae and different varieties of seagrass.

What Should I Feed My Baby Turtle?

As previously explained, baby turtle diets will vary from one species to the next. If you’ve adopted a land turtle species, you can expect to feed them more of an herbivore diet filled with vegetables and other plant-based foods. Aquatic turtles, however, will eat vegetables along with certain carnivorous foods.

When it comes to baby turtles, the key to their diet is the nutrient-rich pellets or gel that you can easily purchase at most pet stores who sell any turtle supplies. These pellets include essential nutrients such as fats, carbohydrates, fiber, fish oil, and many key vitamins. Including this abby turtle food is an important component of a young, growing turtle’s diet. 

Land turtles and aquatic turtles have similar diets but are still each specific to the species. These different types of turtles are built for their specific native environments, meaning they are made to eat what is also native to that environment. 

Baby Land Turtle Diet

When caring for a baby land turtle such as a box turtle, you will find that much of their diet tends to include things they would normally be able to find in their natural environment like the forest. In addition to the specialty baby turtle food, you get from the pet store their diet can also include various bugs such as crickets as well as fruit and some green leafy vegetables. 

Baby Aquatic Turtle Diet

Baby aquatic turtles will also need supplemental nutrients from pet store turtle food, while also being fed a diet specific to their species. A baby aquatic turtle may also eat insects and plant life, but one difference is that aquatic turtles may also eat some feeder fish in their diet. Aquatic turtles tend to have a more carnivorous nature than land turtles but will still enjoy and benefit from vegetables just as much.

How Do I Feed My Baby Turtles?

You can begin a feeding regiment with your baby turtle that begins with you sprinkling the recommended amount of food pellets on the top of the water or on the ground in front of your turtle in their enclosure. Any added foods you can give to them in a bowl at an easy to access spot in their enclosure. You’ll want to shred up the additional food as necessary so that it’s easy for them to eat. 

It is possible for a baby turtle to do okay on just the nutritional pellets but providing them with extra nutrients is what will help them thrive in the long run. Vegetables, crickets, and other natural food choices help them to get the nutrients that they normally would in the wild and grow to be a strong, healthy, and happy turtle.

Turtles are one of the best reptile pets.

Just keep in mind that caring for them is different from caring for a pet dog or cat. 


Turtles are considerably low-maintenance animals overall, but as babies, their diets need to be taken into special consideration. Feeding your baby turtle a proper diet begins with knowing what kind of turtle they are and what their natural habitat would normally provide them with. For example, caring for a box turtle may be a little different from caring for a common musk turtle.

A baby turtle’s diet should be supplemented with pellets or gel that is made especially for them and can be purchased at most local pet stores. In addition to these pellets or gel, baby turtles can greatly benefit from a good mix of natural food selections such as vegetation or insects that they would likely encounter in nature. 

What to feed baby turtles?

Typically, you will want to feed your baby turtle a combination of pet supply store food that they’ve created specifically for baby turtles in addition to some raw vegetables. Depending on the species of turtle, they may even eat some crickets or fish.

What do you feed turtles?

Baby turtles need certain nutrients that adult turtles may not need as much of. In addition, baby turtles need some of the same foods that they will be eating as adults, such as certain vegetables.

How often do turtles eat?

Baby turtles typically will eat at least once per day, while adult turtles may eat one meal every couple of days. Adult turtles don’t eat as frequently because they are done growing and therefore do not need as much nutrient intake so often.

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Written by Leo Roux

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