As a human being, I know how quickly I can tire of the same old foods, even ones that I love or know are good for me. There is typically a lot of variety in the wild parrot’s diet, so I try to change things up for my bird as much as possible while still maintaining a healthy diet. Here are some recipes for nutritious “sandwiches” for your feathered family that are soooo easy to make and fun to eat!
1 ) Almond Butter and Banana On Whole Wheat or Multi Grain Bread:
Smear almond peanut butter (very thinly or sparingly) on one side of two pieces of toasted bread. Push coarsely chopped pieces of banana into the almond butter and put the two slices of toast together. Cut the sandwich into 1 1/2″ square pieces for the larger birds and serve singularly or on a skewer. For the smaller birds, cut the larger pieces in half again and serve in a bowl.
Just FYI, it is very easy to make your own nut butters, which can be made from virtually any type of nut.
**This recipe previously called for peanut butter but based on updated information we have changed it to almond butter as it’s better for birds.
2) Tortilla Roll Ups:
Puree fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries and/or raspberries in the food processor. Smear one side of a flour or corn tortilla with the pureed mixture. Add a layer of cottage cheese over the top. Roll up the tortilla and cut into pieces appropriate for your bird’s size.
You can also mix finely chopped fruit with the cottage cheese and omit, or leave in, the pureed fruit.
3) Stuffed Pita Pockets Foragers:
In a food processor (or by hand) finely chop fresh or frozen spinach, carrots, raw zucchini or yellow squash, and walnuts. Add cooked brown rice and whole kernals of corn to the mixture.
In a bowl, stir in only enough plain yogurt to the chopped veggies/rice mixture so that it remains thick. Spoon mixture into a pita pocket and serve whole or cut in half.
Birds of all size can burrow into the bread to get to the yummy stuff, you just have to let them know what awaits inside the bread to get them started. Just a taste from my finger or a spoon achieves that.
4) Breakfast Sandwich:
Stuff a pita pocket with scrambled eggs, cooked mashed sweet potato, and grated cheddar (or other) cheese. If your bird has been especially good, you might occasionally crumble in bits of bacon. Serve warm.
To complete the breakfast scenario, serve with a side of sliced orange.
5) Lasagna Roll Ups:
Cook lasagna noodles until they are soft, but still firm. Let cool and cut in half.
In a small bowl, mix ricotta cheese with several healthy shakes of parmesan cheese and sprinkle lightly with garlic powder or ground nutmeg for a little extra flavoring (optional).
Smear the cheese mixture on a halved lasagna noodle and drizzle with tomato sauce or a low sodium spaghetti sauce.
Roll up the lasagna noodle and secure with a toothpick. Warm in microwave being sure not to serve until safe from hot spots.
…Of course, there are any number of ways these recipes can be modified to suit your bird’s personal tastes. Do try to incorporate new foods into these recipes. It is a good way to get them to explore new possibilities and expand their diet.
There were so many comments about the inclusion of cheese in these recipes that I decided to put my response into the body of this post:
Hi to everyone,
When I wrote this post, I was aware that these questions would arise. I LOVE that so many are concerned enough about their bird’s diet to take the time to ask them. A few short years ago, most people weren’t as aware of diet issues, so this is a HUGE step forward in the care of our birds.
I have always said that a consistently healthy diet is the MOST important aspect of our care-giving with birds. Fresh foods should be the biggest part of their diet. Dr. Cook is correct in advising that birds are lactose intolerant which should preclude large amounts of dairy in their diet, and peanuts/peanut butter can present problems in some birds. However, I also have found that most birds tolerate these foods without problems at all, if given in moderation. But do be watchful for problems, as you should be with every aspect of your bird’s life.
My take on it is this: Apart from following the rules and making sure that you are giving the very best of everything to your birds, life is also supposed to be fun. An excruciatingly bland diet is as hard on parrots as it is on humans. Food is part of what makes life good. Unfortunately, the best tasting foods are not generally the most beneficial to us. Just as you would with your own diet, a bird needs limitations set, with the accent placed on good health.