Can Turtles Eat Kale?

Turtles are dinosaurs.

There’s no other way to say it.

These creatures have been around since the dinosaur era, and though they’ve changed greatly since their days among the giants, they still hold their place as the one of the few who survived a great extinction. 

And animals that have been around as long as that surely have adapted some astounding natural instincts and abilities over time to keep them around for eons.

And, as creatures so native to the land, there’s little natural that they can’t eat, including new, natural favourites like kale. 

Kale has become insanely popular in California cuisine, and it’s since spread out all across the country.

So if you keep it in your home for you, you’ve probably considered giving it to your special friend. It’s perfectly safe to do so. 

This blog will go over the benefits of feeding kale to your turtle, as well as just how to feed your turtle properly. 

Is Kale Good for Turtles?

Any turtle’s diet should be well varied.

And it’s  often important and necessary to change their diet depending on how old they’ve grown.

When turtles are young, they require a lot more protein than older turtles to contribute to their growth. 


When they’re older, it’s often recommended that some turtle’s diet be up to about 80 percent leafy greens.

And as kale is a leafy green, it’s perfectly acceptable, not to mention healthy, to feed it kale.

Kale and other leafy greens contain a lot of nutrients necessary to your turtle’s health. 

Can Aquatic Turtles Eat Kale?

Yes, aquatic turtles usually subsist on aquatic plant life, but they enjoy kale as much as land turtles. An aquatic turtle’s diet isn’t very different from any other species of turtle. 

It should be noted, however, that aquatic turtles are known for being particularly messy eaters, often throwing food around, leaving half-chewed or undigested particles floating in the water. This is not ideal as it can lead to algae eventually building up in your tank.

This is why it’s best to feed a turtle outside of its tank. 

Can Red-Eared Sliders Eat Kale?

Red-Eared Sliders are aquatic turtles, and as such enjoy kale just as much as any other species. However, if you are going to feed your turtle inside its tank, it’s probably ideal to look around for any obvious bits of food particles left floating around your tank. 

A gravel vacuum comes in handy for cleaning food and waste that got stuck in pebbles or gravel, but the better option is to take your turtle out at mealtime. 

Do Box Turtles Eat Kale?

Leafy greens are an important part of every turtle’s diet. And box turtles enjoy eating kale along with all the other leafy greens they’re permitted. They’re also, as an occasional treat, particularly fond of strawberries. 

Do Painted Turtles Eat Kale?

They do, but it won’t be their favourite part of the meal. Painted turtles are omnivores, however they have a strong preference for eating meat. It is necessary, however, to mix in a healthy dose of greens and other vegetables along with any meat you offer them. 

To properly feed your turtle either in its tank or out of it, be sure you have a designated space where you keep its food. This will help it understand that this is where it will always be. Or, if you take it out, this has become a natural part of its day. 


There’s very little a turtle won’t eat, but its diet should be well coordinated with its owner. You don’t want it only eating meat, or never getting any. If you don’t properly balance your turtle’s diet, it will grow deficient in nutrients and vitamins that it needs to remain healthy. 


A turtle’s shell, for instance, is kept strong in part by what it eats. If your turtle is getting more phosphorus than calcium, it could lead to a weak shell. This might not be a problem when it’s away from predators in your home, but it’s also not healthy for the turtle. 

Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies can lead to other health problems as well. And considering these creatures have been around nearly as early as we can trace, we should do everything we can to keep them healthy. 

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