A healthy crested gecko diet is fairly straightforward and easy for owners to achieve.
These eyelash geckos are omnivorous, and fruit makes up a portion of their diets.
Since these animals eat fruits regularly, is it safe to feed them baby food?
As a general rule, certain baby foods are safe for a crested gecko, but they should not make up a large part of its diet. High-quality baby food such as pureed fruit mixes with no added sugar or preservatives is a fun and easy treat to give to your gecko on rare occasions.
While it is safe for cresties to be fed these foods now and then, owners must know several important factors before shopping in the baby aisle.
Not all baby foods are created equal.
Let’s take a closer look at what do’s and don’ts are associated with feeding gecko processed foods.
What Baby Foods Are Safe For Crested Geckos?
Pureed fruit mixes are formulated for human babies.
This obvious fact is an important one to consider when considering using these foods as a sweet treat for your pet gecko.
Many of these foods are made to taste good and to have a long shelf life.
It is best to stick to fruit purees when selecting your jarred food.
You must purchase a high-quality option formulated with solely whole foods.
Anything with added sugar or preservatives will be harmful to your pet over time.
You will also want to look at the nutrition facts on the jar to see which vitamins and minerals are present in the food.
Anything with high amounts of phosphorus is an ill-advised choice.
The best options for pet owners looking for processed food as a quick fix are those made from recommended fruits for cresties.
Organic options are always the way to go for both fresh and processed produce.
Safe Mashed Fruits
The list of fruits above is all safe for your pet gecko to eat in its full, fresh form.
So, when selecting a jar of pre-mashed fruit, stick to a combination of these options.
Be sure to never feed your gecko any form of citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruits.
Other fruits with high acidity or poor calcium to phosphorus ratios include pineapples and passion fruit.
Portion Sizes and Frequency of Feeding
Gecko owners interested in feeding store-bought mashed foods to their pets should be properly educated on properly serving these foods and how often to provide them.
Jarred mashed fruit is not a regular part of a crestie’s complete diet.
Usually, fresh fruit is recommended as part of a balanced diet.
This is because processed fruits often have higher amounts of sugar than fresh fruit does.
Adult crested geckos will have a much easier time processing these foods than baby geckos will.
Because of this, we advise against treating your pet to jarred food until it is fully mature.
The appropriate portion size of these fruits should be approximately the same amount of fresh fruit you would give your pet as part of its complete diet.
These purees should never be fed on their own to captive geckos.
Be sure to always incorporate other gecko food items to fulfill the requirements of a well-balanced meal.
We suggest using live insects for these meals instead of a commercial gecko diet.
This is because the commercial food is usually formulated to already include fruits and vegetables into the meal.
You will also need to ensure these meals contain adequate calcium levels.
This is achieved by mixing a calcium supplement into the food before serving it in your gecko’s food dish.
If the fruits contain poor phosphorus to calcium ratio, calcium powder is essential to ensure the phosphorus does not obstruct your pet’s calcium absorption.
As for the frequency at which you should serve these foods, we suggest no more than once per week.
Depending on your pet’s usual diet and overall health, it may be a better option once every other week.
Remember, this food puree is meant to be an easy way to provide an occasional treat.
For the most part, your gecko’s fruit consumption should be made up of fresh fruit.
Crested Gecko Dietary Requirements
The dietary requirements of a captive crestie are quite simple compared to some other reptiles.
This is thanks to the specially formulated commercial crested gecko food.
Since cresties are omnivores, they require both plant matter and insect protein to survive.
Gecko food in pellets or meal replacement powders is usually a pet crestie’s main food source.
Along with these store-bought foods, you should incorporate live insects and fresh produce into a healthy diet.
Some owners choose to serve homemade crested gecko food to their pets.
This is acceptable for treats, but homemade items are not recommended to be used as the main food source.
To ensure your pet is receiving all of the essential nutrients it requires, it is best to keep commercial foods in its diet.
- Dubia roaches
From the list of insects above, dubia roaches and crickets are by far the most nutritious.
Our post dedicated to the best crested gecko foods dives into much more detail on the types of food, insects, and more the crested gecko needs to thrive.
When feeding your adult gecko, you should provide it with crickets or dubia roaches approximately twice per week.
Baby geckos will need smaller insects once per week.
Ideally, the insects should be no more than 1/2″ inch for adults and 1/4″ inch for babies.
Feeding around five live insects will suffice for an adult and no more than three for a baby.
Be sure to remove any uneaten food to reduce the risk of stress and the spread of bacteria.
Worms are not as nutritious as crickets and dubia roaches and should only be given as an occasional treat.
When choosing fruits for your crestie, stick to fruits, including the ones recommended in our list of safe mashed fruits.
Since a captive crestie obtains most of its nutrients from pellets, you will only need to provide your pet with fruits once per week at most.
A popular choice of fruits fed to cresties are purees formulated for these geckos.
Water is vital for cresties.
You should provide freshwater for them daily.
Often, pet geckos will drink the water droplets left on the leaves in their enclosure after it is misted each day.
Baby geckos will need to eat more frequently than adults.
The majority of its diet should still be made up of commercial foods, with a few small insects once per week and fruit on occasion.
Follow the recommended portion sizes provided on the gecko food for the age and weight of your baby.
Sticking to these guides will help you feed your pet enough food without causing it to gain weight too quickly.
Insects such as small crickets and dubia worms are only necessary once per week.
Start by providing one live insect no larger than 1/4″ inch.
Once you have introduced live insects to your baby gecko, you will be able to increase the quantity.
However, it is not recommended to feed it more than three live insects per week, whether crickets or dubia roaches.
You gut must load both crickets and roaches 12 – 24 hours before feeding them to your pet.
You may do this by feeding the insects the gecko’s food pellets.
The insects should also be dusted with calcium powder just before feeding time.
Mealworms, silkworms, and super worms should not generally be a part of a baby gecko’s diet.
Worms are far less nutritious than crickets and roaches, so they are only meant to be used as a light treat.
Since protein and essential nutrients are vital for baby and juvenile cresties to grow to their full potential, worms do not fit into their diet.
When it comes to feeding fruit to your little reptilian friends, we recommend sticking to very small portions.
The gecko diet pellets are formulated with the appropriate amounts of fruit necessary for babies to stay healthy and grow into strong adults.
Any additional fresh fruit is to be fed once per week at most.
When introducing fresh fruit into a young gecko’s diet, it is best to start with one type and slowly expand their pallet.
The fruit should ideally be mashed up or pureed, but you may also cut it into small pieces to serve.
For instance, if you were to introduce mango to your baby gecko, you would either blend the flesh of the fruit up in a food processor or cut it into a few tiny cubes.
Once your crestie is fully mature and has finished growing, it will not need to eat as often as it once did.
This will depend on the size of the gecko and its general behaviors.
Most owners will know their cresties well enough to decide exactly how often they need to eat.
Read our post on how long crested geckos can go without food for great supplemental information on this.
As an adult, commercial gecko food should still make up most of the gecko’s complete diet.
Owners will need to follow the feeding instructions for the specific brand of food they purchase based on the animal’s age and weight.
Insects should be prepared the same way for adults as they are for babies.
The only difference here is the size and amount you are able to feed your gecko.
An adult will most likely consume five or six insects per week, depending on the size.
This total would ideally be split up between two separate days of feeding.
A larger variety of fruits is acceptable for adults, including an occasional serving of baby food with minimal sugar and preservatives.
Remember to mix in a calcium supplement before serving the food to your pet.
Vitamin supplements are not usually necessary for geckos, but you have the option of adding these as well.
Making Your Fruit Puree For A Crested Gecko
Although jarred baby food is safe for adult cresties on rare occasions, making your own pureed fruit treat would be an even better option.
Once you know which fruits your pet enjoys most, you will be able to combine a variety in your homemade fruit mash.
Two common combinations of fruits to mix are equal parts mango, peach, apricot, banana, mango, and strawberry.
These fruit choices are all easily pureed and make for a delicious snack.
First, you will need to thoroughly wash the fruit and peel away its skin.
If there is a pit or seeds in them, be sure to remove these as well.
Once you’ve prepped your fruits, place them in a food processor or high-power blender.
Add enough water for ease of blending.
You will also need to put some calcium powder in the mix.
The final ingredient often added is a teaspoon of honey.
The honey will add depth of flavor and is a healthy natural sweetener.
When all ingredients are in the mixer, simply blend.
The last step is placing the puree in an ice cube tray.
We suggest using a silicone tray made up of tiny square cubes.
Place your tray into the freezer, and you will have a sweet treat ready to go for your gecko’s treat day.
When it’s time for your pet to have a sweet treat, pop out two or three of the puree cubes and add them to the food dish.
Since the mix already contains a calcium supplement, no further preparation is necessary.