I’ve heard this so many times when people are trying to get their parrots to start eating better. The biggest motivator is to be able eat with you. If you are eating the healthy foods, chances are your parrot will be more than happy to eat some of it too. (Remember, it always tastes better if it’s on your plate, instead of in their bowl.) Have a nice salad with them to encourage them to eat their veggies and greens, add fruit and nut pieces to make it even more enticing to them. Be creative with your meals to include healthy whole foods that you, your family, and your parrots will all be able to enjoy. Change the ingredients that you use each time you make something. This is just a guide to give you ideas.
Ingredients for this batch are kale, cucumber, red bell pepper, cilantro, mango, blueberries, strawberries, zucchini, yellow squash, red cabbage, pecan pieces, almond slivers and fresh squeezed lime.
Next up, mango salsa, oh yum!!!
Another favorite around here is fresh mango salsa. I make a special version of this salsa for the parrots when I make it for the family. Everyone really enjoys this one. Again, try different ingredients for it each time that you make it. This batch includes mango, strawberry, cucumber, red bell pepper, cilantro and fresh squeezed lime.
Hope that you and your birdies enjoy! 🙂
The parrots get excited when they see me in the kitchen preparing a special feast for family and friends. They look forward to getting something special to eat too. And offering meals with a variety of different foods, colors and textures provides enrichment for them. Be creative, and make a fun, healthy meal for you and your parrot to be able to eat together.
Simple, but fun meal, of hard boiled eggs with a sprinkle of paprika, dried parsley, flax, chia and sesame. Topped with edible flowers, geraniums.
Sprouts: soaked almonds, black, white and red quinoa, wheat berries, red and green lentils, mung and adzuki beans. Raw kale, baked butternut squash and fresh pomegranate. Chia and sesame seed sprinkled on top.
Kale, sweet potatoes and sprouts. (sprouts include: kamut, wheat berries, rye, black, white and red quinoa, red lentils, blue lentils, green lentils, mung, garbanzo and almonds)
Sprouts salad for the fids.
Raw sprouts: quinoa, kamut, wheat berries, rye, mung beans, garbanzo beans, red, green and blue lentils, soaked almonds.
Raw greens: kale and dandelion.
Lightly cooked veggies: brussels sprouts and sweet potato.
Fresh fruit: apple, blueberry, strawberry and pineapple.
Chia seed sprinkled on top.
I also call these sweetheart treats, I think the heart shapes are so cute. I make them different every time, this recipe is just a guide to get you started. Vary the ingredients each time you make them, be creative with it and have fun. No salt, sugar, chemicals or any other questionable ingredients. And made with ❤
Whole grain banana walnut bird treats
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup stone ground grains (cheated and used Bob’s Red Mill: red wheat, rye, triticale, oats, barely, brown rice, oat bran, flaxseed, dried apples and cinnamon) Any healthy whole grain flour choice will work
1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 cup coconut flour
handful of chopped walnuts
Mix it all up and spread your batter in a thin layer into a lightly oiled baking dish. (I use extra virgin organic coconut oil on a shallow glass baking pan.) I bake all of my treats at 350 F. They were ready in twenty minutes, but I chose to cut them out with the cookie cutter and then flip them afterwards for another fifteen minutes for the fun shapes.
Another fun, easy recipe: Blueberry sweet potato sweetheart treats.
Okay, I know what you all are thinking. This is supposed to be a healthy parrot feeding page! What the heck am I doing posting pancakes here, right? Well it’s an occasional treat, they don’t get it often, and I make it as healthy as possible (as far as pancakes go). There is no milk, eggs, salt or sugar in them and the flour choices are low-glycemic. This batch is made with buckwheat, oats, spelt and coconut flour. Banana, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries, applesauce, cinnamon and almond butter. A touch of non-aluminum baking powder and a squeeze of lemon juice. Pumpkin pancakes are another healthy option that I make. I just use a cup of flour (some good choices I listed above), then add in some wet ingredients and fruit until you get a nice batter consistency. Cook on stove top with a bit of extra virgin coconut oil. Sprinkle some flax seed on top if you like. Enjoy!
Baby organic kale leaves with broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, summer squash, cucumber, red bell pepper and mango. Cooked grains and legumes are quinoa, kamut, buckwheat, mung beans, red and green lentils. Topped with a sprinkle of turmeric, chia and sesame seeds.
No one would want to eat a plain, dry cereal mix for every meal, for every day of their lives. This includes your bird. Nothing beats fresh whole foods for your parrot’s health. A wide variety of grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits provide not only good nutrition, but also is great enrichment for our parrots. Make meals healthy, fun and interesting for them, even better, eat it with them.
The parrots here are thrilled here today, they are eating The Landing Mash from the parrot refuge Phoenix Landing. http://www.phoenixlanding.org/blog/2011/03/the-landing-mash/
Follow the recipe to get you started, then get creative in adding in special ingredients that your parrot loves. For this batch, I exchanged the dried fruit for fresh cranberries, pomegranate and coconut. I also added mung, adzuki and split peas to the garbanzo bean mix. I skipped the frozen veggies. Instead of the pasta, I added millet, buckwheat and wheat berries to the kamut and quinoa mix. Then topped it with a few walnut pieces, sesame and chia seed at serving time. I love the addition of the turmeric and cinnamon, it smell and tastes wonderful. (Yes, I tasted it, but I promise the rest is all for the parrots.) Oh and you can get a beautiful parrot calendar from their website too.
Here’s the recipe I followed from the Phoenix Landing website
The Landing Mash
by Ann Brooks
Many kinds of birds come and go from The Landing, our adoption and education center in the Asheville, NC area. Therefore, we feed foods that can be enjoyed by a diverse group, but still ensures that each bird is eating a healthy variety of whole foods to complement their pellets, fresh fruits, pumpkin bread, nuts and treats.
Some birds come to us that have not been on a healthy diet or learned to eat fresh foods. Getting them to try new things can be a challenge, at best. Feeding a MASH has many positive attributes:
* You can hide things a bird might not eat otherwise by chopping it very small.
* For convenience, you can make large batches, and freeze it in portions.
* Mashes allow you to be creative, adding more or less of certain things to meet your bird’s needs.
* Most importantly, you can cover all the important food groups in one recipe, knowing that your bird will probably be eating the variety needed for a complete meal.
We have had huge success converting birds to better diets using a mash recipe, so we wanted to share it with you here. We complement this mash with an assortment of fresh fruits, pumpkin bread, and a small amount of egg cooked with palm oil (for vitamin A) and greens. The birds at the adoption center eagerly await their breakfast every morning, often shuffling back and forth on their perches in adorable anticipation.
THE LANDING MASH (more or less….)
2.5 cups Kamut
A heaping teaspoon of turmeric
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cups quinoa
1 sweet potato cut into 1/2″ cubes (or other winter squashes)
16 oz package organic mixed veggies (peas, corn, carrots)
16 oz package organic mixed greens (kale, collard, mustard greens)
1 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
6 oz Eden small vegetable shells, whole grain
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
(Any dried fruit should be unsulphured, with no processed sugar)
If you don’t have much freezer space, or a small number birds to feed, proportionally reduce these quantities. If you decide to make the recipe using these quantities, then you’ll want to start with a big soup pot.
To start: bring the large pot of water to a boil. Add the Kamut, turmeric and cinnamon. Stir well. When the water starts to boil again, lower the heat to medium. Cook for 15 minutes.
Add the quinoa and sweet potato. Stir well. Cook another 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Drain or add some cold water. You don’t want the Kamut to cook much more, birds really enjoy it slightly crunchy.
When the grains are drained and a bit cooled, put these in a super-sized mixing bowl, or divide into several if need be. Add the remaining ingredients (frozen vegetables, pepitas, garbanzo beans, pasta shells, dried fruit). Stir together. Divide into storage containers. Freeze in 2-3 day portion sizes. As you finish one container, take one out of the freezer to defrost.
This recipe is versatile. Add and subtract other things that your bird may enjoy (e.g. broccoli, coconut, fresh carrots, other grains, walnuts…). If your bird is reluctant to eat a mash, find the ingredient that is their favorite, and put extra amounts to pique their interest. After they are eating it regularly, you can change the proportions to insure that they are eating the variety intended.
Thanks to Leigh Ann Hartsfield for her recipe “Franco’s Favorite Breakfast” in the Nourish to Flourish cookbook. We started with this recipe, and the adoption center birds really enjoyed the addition to their breakfast meal. Then Mary Ault discovered that undercooked Kamut was very appealing to the birds, because they use their hookbills as nature intended, and crack open the grains. The Landing Mash continues to evolve as we add new things or change the proportions. And with spring on it’s way, we will take full advantage of the fruits and veggies of the seasons.
If you try this recipe for your birds, let us know how it goes!