Parrots are very social eaters, and they love sharing snacks with their humans.
The problem is, parrots can’t eat everything that we can.
In the wild, parrots learn what is safe to eat from their flockmates.
But at home, they don’t have the same guidance.
In return, it’s our responsibility as owners to make sure they are eating what’s healthy for them – and avoiding what isn’t.
So the question of the day is – can parrots eat bananas?
The simple answer to this question is yes, parrots can eat bananas. In fact, bananas should be incorporated into their diet as part of their daily fruit intake. Unlike many other fruits that can pose cautions (ie. Parrots cannot have apple seeds), bananas don’t pose much risk to our feathered friends.
Of course, that’s the simple answer, but this question also opens us up to a variety of other questions:
What are the health benefits of bananas?
Can parrots eat banana bread?
What about banana chips?
Can they eat the banana peel?
Today we will talk about all of these questions and more, so let’s not waste another minute!
Can Lovebirds Eat Bananas?
What about lovebirds in general? Can they eat bananas?
If you are a lovebird owner and you are wondering if your lovebird can eat bananas, the answer is yes they can. Bananas are full of nutrients and benefits for lovebirds.
What are the health benefits of bananas for parrots?
Bananas are loaded with health benefits for birds.
Not only do they offer Vitamin A, but they also offer the benefits of Vitamin B6, magnesium, and iron.
Here is how each of these nutrients affects your bird:
Vitamin A is considered an essential nutrient for your parrot and can help with numerous things including eye health, feather health, reproductive health, and immune system functioning.
Unfortunately, Vitamin A is a common deficiency among birds.
When parrots are lacking in Vitamin A they are more susceptible to infection, swollen eyes, dull feathers, wheezing, and weight loss.
Providing a healthy diet with ample Vitamin A can help to prevent this deficiency from occurring.
B-complex vitamins are important for birds because they help to break down food and nutrients for your parrot’s body to use.
Because these vitamins are excreted from the body, they need to be incorporated into your parrot’s daily diet.
Magnesium is important for parrots for many reasons.
Not only does it attribute to proper bone growth, but it also helps to create strong beaks, feathers, and nerve impulses.
In addition, magnesium helps to improve muscle coordination and brain neurons and contributes to a healthy heart.
In birds, iron is essential for the manufacturing of hemoglobin, which helps the blood to carry oxygen.
With that being said, iron can be tricky in birds. Too much iron can cause iron storage disease, while too little iron can result in anemia. The key then, is to create a good balance.
Can Parrots Eat the Banana Peel?
Okay, so we’ve established that parrots can eat bananas, but what about the banana peel?
The answer to this question is yes, parrots can eat the banana peel, but we don’t highly recommended it.
Why? The banana peel itself isn’t a major concern – it’s what might be on the banana peel.
Like many fruits, bananas are often grown with pesticides – or a chemical that is used to keep pests away while the fruit is being grown.
Unfortunately, these pesticides pose great risk to birds, and even in small doses they can cause illness.
Even if you wash the skin of your banana thoroughly, you could still be subjecting your bird to pesticide ingestion if you feed it to them.
With that being said, if your parrot likes the banana peel, there is an alternative – organic bananas.
Organic bananas are grown without the use of pesticides, so the peel is safe for your parrot to eat.
Just be sure to thoroughly wash the banana before feeding, as you never know what kind of bacteria landed on it in the process of transition.
Can Parrots eat Banana Chips?
No. Though you may think that banana chips are a good, healthy alternative to bananas, these are considered a refined food and are not safe for your parrot to eat.
To help you see the point, we ask this question – have you ever tried a banana chip?
They are very sweet, right?
Well, they are sweet for a reason – because they have added sugars.
Just one ounce of banana chips have about 16 grams of sugar and for birds, sugar is very unhealthy.
When bird’s intake refined sugars, deficiencies and health problems can be the result.
Not only does sugar promote infections, but it can also decrease the functioning of the digestive system, the endocrine system, and the nervous system.
The result can be diabetes, obesity, cancer, gout, feather picking, high cholesterol levels, irritability, anxiety, and so on and so forth.
So while banana chips do provide nutritional elements like potassium and fiber, they also contain refined sugars that can be unhealthy for your bird. In other words, you’re better off just feeding them a fresh banana.
Note however, that should you decide to make your own sun dried banana chips with no added sugar, this would be a fine, healthy, and safe treat for your bird.
Can Parrots eat Banana Bread?
Yes, you can feed you parrot banana bread, but only as a fun snack.
Banana bread cannot be incorporated into your parrots daily diet needs, because it doesn’t have any nutritional value for them.
In addition, like banana chips, you shouldn’t feed your parrot banana bread from the store.
Banana bread can be loaded with additives like salt, sugar, and oil, all of which can damage the health of your parrot.
If you are going to feed your parrot banana bread, make sure it is homemade and free of additives.
To make it a little tastier, you could add some nuts and seeds.
Also, make sure that the bread is fresh, as stale bread can upset your parrot’s stomach.
Tips for Feeding Bananas to your Parrot:
The absolute best way to feed your parrot bananas is to go raw.
Raw bananas are packed with nutrients that can be an excellent addition to your parrot’s diet.
Just be sure that bananas are coupled with other fruits and are not their only fruit source.
Your parrot should have at least three different fruits each day to receive the maximum nutritional benefits possible.
Do not cook your bananas
Again, the most nutritional form of banana to feed your parrot is raw.
Cooking bananas strips them of all nutritional benefits, and therefore holds no real value in your parrot’s diet.
Even if you aren’t feeding your parrot banana skins, it’s never a bad idea to go organic.
While non-organic bananas should be safe for your parrot, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Organic is always the risk free way to go.
When feeding your parrot bananas, search for the greenest, rawest banana you can find.
Because green bananas are lower in starch.
Why is this important?
Because starch turns into sugar, and can be very difficult for your parrot to digest.
Unlike humans, parrots don’t have digestive enzymes in their mouths to help them break down starchy foods.
In return, starch doesn’t begin breaking down until it reaches the pancreas.
If starch builds up, it can lead to diabetes, clogged arteries, plaque buildup in the brain, and other undesired consequences.
So go green – it’s less starchy and easier for your bird to digest.
Can my Parrot have Plantains?
Plantains are a rawer and greener form of banana, and are also safe for your parrot to eat.
In fact, plantains may be considered even more beneficial than bananas because they contain higher amounts of essential nutrients that your bird needs.
Again, plantains should be bought organic, and should only be fed raw (not cooked).
Though humans generally cook plantains to eat them, cooking them will remove all nutritional value for your parrot, and will therefore hold no benefits for their health.
Note, however, that there is one exception to the cooking rule.
If your parrot is ill or unwell, cooked bananas and plantains can be easier to digest until they are feeling better.
In conclusion, yes, parrots can eat bananas. Just be sure that when feeding them bananas, they are in their rawest form.
Green, organic bananas are the best.
If you would like to make additional treats for your parrot, like banana chips or banana bread, just be sure that there are no added sugars, salts, or refined foods.
Otherwise, bananas make a great treat and a healthy supplement to your parrots diet!