Home » Can Parrots Eat Tomatoes? [Safest Type of Tomatoes Revealed!]
can you give parrots tomatoes?

Can Parrots Eat Tomatoes? [Safest Type of Tomatoes Revealed!]

(Last Updated On: January 16, 2023)

Tomatoes pique the interest of parrots due to their vibrant color. According to Functional Ecology, parrots use color to gauge toxicity and determine whether a food contains beneficial antioxidants.

Parrots can tell when a tomato is ripe or unripe as they see shades and hues vividly.

Parrots can benefit from eating tomatoes, as they’re a good source of vitamins C and K, potassium, and folate. However, the overconsumption of tomatoes can cause stomach problems due to their acidity. Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family, so the leaves and vines are toxic.

Sun-dried tomatoes are preferred, as they’re less acidic due to the drying process.

Are Tomatoes Good For Parrots?

While tomatoes are acidic, they have positive health benefits due to the following:


Tomatoes contain lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants.

Lycopene is found in the tomato’s skin, which protects against heart conditions and diseases. As described by Oxford Academic, the redder the tomato, the more lycopene it contains.

Lutein and zeaxanthin protect the eyesight of parrots from cataracts and macular degeneration.

These antioxidants also improve your parrot’s feathers, making them more vivid and beautiful. Male parrots with more colorful plumage are more likely to attract mates.

Vitamin C

Like oranges, tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin C. The body doesn’t produce vitamin C, so it must come from your parrot’s diet. Vitamin C is essential for the following:

  • Boosting the immune system
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Regulating cholesterol
  • Healing wounds
  • Regulating blood sugar
  • Preventing kidney problems

On average, 100 grams of raw tomato contains 13.7 mg of vitamin C.

can parrots eat raw tomatoes?


Potassium enables a parrot’s cells, tissues, and vital organs to maintain the right balance of fluids.

It’s essential for strong bones and a well-functioning digestive system. Potassium normalizes blood pressure, reducing the likelihood of heart disease and strokes. It also helps with the following:

  • Controls muscle contractions
  • Regulates nerve signals and fluid balance
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Reduces stress levels

On average, 100 grams of tomato contains 237 mg of potassium.


Folate is required to balance homocysteine levels, the amino acid responsible for breaking down protein. Parrots need folate to form uric acid, which is the waste product of protein metabolism.

Folate deficiencies can cause the following:

  • Impaired cell division
  • Under-development of the reproductive tract
  • Anemia
  • Weakened immune system

According to ACS, 100 grams of fresh tomatoes contain between 4.1 to 35.3 μg of folates.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is essential for bone health and eggshell quality. Parrots low in vitamin K likely experience delayed blood clotting and will bleed profusely from the smallest cuts.

In the worst cases, a lack of vitamin K causes internal hemorrhages and increased hatching mortality.

Can Parrots Eat Raw Tomatoes?

A tomato’s acidity is at its highest when raw. Tomatoes contain more than ten types of acid, including citric acid, malic acid, and ascorbic acid. They also have a pH level of between 4.3-4.9.

To put this into context, seven on the pH scale is neutral, while anything below this figure is acidic.

However, ripe tomatoes contain lower acidity levels and have a sweeter taste. As a result, ripe tomatoes are OK to feed your parrot in moderation.

Because parrots instinctively understand ripeness in food, they’ll likely reject orange tomatoes but avoid offering them under-ripe tomatoes anyway.

Can Parrots Eat Cherry Tomatoes?

Because of their smaller, more manageable size, cherry tomatoes are much easier for parrots to eat. Also, cherry tomatoes have a sweeter taste that parrots prefer over larger tomatoes.

However, cherry tomatoes have the same issues as raw tomatoes because they’re highly acidic.

It’s also easier to overfeed parrots with cherry tomatoes. If you’re able to limit your parrot’s cherry tomato intake to 1-2 per week, they’re a safe and nutritious addition to your parrot’s diet.

Can Parrots Eat Canned Tomatoes?

Avoid feeding your parrot canned tomatoes, as the canning process involves adding acid to prevent the tomatoes from going moldy inside the can.

Canning prevents the growth of Clostridium botulinum, which is a bacteria that causes food poisoning.

Homemade canned tomatoes require lemon juice or powdered citric acid to be added to the jar to keep them fresh. So, even canned tomatoes you’ve made at home can harm parrots.

are tomatoes bad for parrots?

Can Parrots Eat Sun-Dried Tomatoes?

Sun-dried tomatoes are one of the safest tomato varieties for parrots to eat. Most of the acid is neutralized during drying, reducing them to safer levels.

They also have a sweeter taste, which many parrots enjoy more than raw, acidic tomatoes with a bitter flavor. Sun-dried tomatoes protect parrots from inflammation and markers of oxidative stress.

One thing to watch out for with sun-dried tomatoes is sulfur dioxide and salt levels.

If this is a concern, you can create sun-dried tomatoes at home with these steps:

  1. Slice a batch of cherry tomatoes (or any other small variety) in half-length ways.
  2. Spread them out cut-side up on a baking tray lined with parchment.
  3. Slow roast them in the oven for around 2.5-3.5 minutes at 250°F, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn.
  4. Leave them to cool down and feed them to your parrot a couple at a time.

Your parrot will love the sweet taste, but avoid seasoning them with salt (sodium).

Can Parrots Eat Tomato Sauce?

Ketchup is high in refined sugar, which can lead to weight gain.

However, tomato products such as tomato ketchup, tomato sauces, tomato paste, and tomato juice are rich in the antioxidant lycopene. Ketchup contains 10-14 mg of lycopene per 100 grams, whereas a small tomato weighing 100 grams contains 1-8 mg of lycopene.

Lycopene levels are higher in processed tomato foods than in raw tomatoes. According to the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, thermal treatments and food preparation, such as boiling, cooking, chopping, and agitation, had little effect on the presence of lycopene.

Despite being part of the nightshade family, parrots can eat tomatoes. However, tomatoes are acidic, so you shouldn’t feed your parrot more than a few slices per week.

Sun-dried tomatoes are recommended as they’re the least acidic variety. Never feed your parrot the vines or leaves of tomato plants because they’re highly toxic.