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Bearded Dragons


Understanding what bearded dragons eat is a crucial part of your role as an owner. The right diet can make a massive impact on the overall health and happiness of these pet reptiles, so you want to get it right! But with so many foods to choose from, coming up with the perfect bearded dragon diet can seem a bit overwhelming at first. To make things easy, we created this resource to help you quickly see what foods you can feed your bearded dragon.

Why Is A Good Diet Important?

Bearded dragons need good, nutritious diets in order to stay healthy and live quality lives (like any other pet). But a good diet does more than simply keep your bearded dragon healthy. It helps keep their coloring vibrant, increases their activity level, and will help maximize their lifespan!

Insects & Bugs

Bearded dragons are big fans of live insects, and you can either raise live insects yourself or purchase them from your local reptile store.

It’s recommended that you feed your bearded dragon as many insects as it can eat in 10 minutes. Pick up all of the insects left over after that time, since remnant food can lead to overeating or insects burying themselves in your lizard’s substrate (causing problems later).

Crickets and Woodies are two of the most popular insects to feed bearded dragons. Each insect has its own pros and cons:


Have a softer shell and don’t bury themselves in the substrate immediately. However, crickets do jump (meaning they can escape easier), smell foul, and can carry parasites, which can cause health issues for your lizard. If you plan on breeding your own insects, crickets are also harder to breed.


Woodies don't stand still but are fast and try to hide, which make them more challenging for bearded dragons to find. The Woodies smoother shell also makes them more challenging to dust before feeding.

Here’s the full list of insects that you can include in a bearded dragon diet:

  • Crickets

  • Kingworms

  • Earthworms

  • Woodies

  • Silkworms

  • Superworms

  • Mealworms

  • Black soldier fly larvae

Vegetables & Greens

Approximately 80-90% of the plant matter you feed your beardie should be vegetables and greens. Any dark leafy greens can make up the majority of your lizard’s vegetable content. It’s recommended that you avoid light greens because they are high in fibre and nutrient-poor.

You should feed your beardies spinach sparingly. This is because it possesses oxalates that can build calcium and other trace minerals, preventing them from being absorbed into the body (which can result in nutrient deficiencies).

Kale and cabbage should also be fed sparingly because they possess goitrogens, which are substances that suppress the functioning of the thyroid gland. Feeding these vegetables too often can lead to hypothyroidism.

Here’s the massive list of common vegetable and greens in Australia that you can feed your bearded dragon: 

  • Continental Parsley

  • Sweet potato

  • Corriander

  • Carrots

  • Choy Sum

  • Bok choy

  • Clover

  • Butternut Pumpkin

  • Sprouts

  • Green beans

  • Kale

  • Broccoli

  • Asparagus

  • Zucchini

  • Cucumber

  • Various types of squash

  • Celery

  • Peas

  • Corn

  • Endive

  • Mushrooms

  • Parsnips

*The column on the left makes up the staple vegetable diet for our bearded dragons


Fruits should be a maximum 10-20% of the plant matter that you feed your bearded dragon. We rarely to never feed our beardies fruit. These reptiles may enjoy eating fruits, but they aren’t very rich in nutrients and not always easy to digest due to the sugars present, which is why they shouldn’t comprise much of their diet. Fruits can be served on top of vegetables and greens as a dressing.

Wash fruits before feeding them to your beardie. Remember that some fruits go bad quickly, so always check fruit thoroughly before offering it to your lizard.

Here’s a list of fruits that your bearded dragon can eat sparingly:

General Food Principles To Follow

Bearded dragons are omnivores which means that they eat both plant and animal-based foods.

In the wild, bearded dragons eat a wide variety of insects, fruits, and vegetables (we dig into each of those a bit later on). While we may not be able to fully replicate the diet of bearded dragons living in the wild, you’ll want to replicate the lizard’s natural diet as closely as you can for your pet bearded dragon.

Like other reptiles, a bearded dragon’s dietary needs will change as it grows. For instance, a young beardie requires more bugs(80%) in its diet since it needs fats and protein to help it reach its full-grown size. Once they reach maturity, a bearded dragon will need to eat more vegetables in order to help them stay healthy.

Feeding Tips

You may want to feed your beardie using a small dish or bowl. Some say its not ideal to feed your lizard on loose substrate, since it can be accidentally ingested while eating (this happens more often with young bearded dragons). While older beardies can more easily digest a little loose substrate if they accidentally ingest it, loose substrate can cause serious health issues if your husbandry is not up to standard.

Your beardie’s light should be on around a min 60 minutes before mealtimes since it will warm them up and stimulate their appetite.

Leave your beardie’s light on for at least 3 hours after mealtime as well. Your bearded dragon needs to be warm in order to properly digest their food. If it’s not warm while they’re digesting, your beardie’s body can’t absorb the nutrients it needs (and they could suffer from impaction due to food not being digested properly).

Adult Bearded Dragon Diet Tips

There are a few things you’ll need to remember when it comes to an adult bearded dragon diet (defined as 12 months or older).

Adult bearded dragons have reached maturity, and, as a result will not need as much protein as baby and juvenile lizards. At this stage, your adult bearded dragon’s diet should consist of 80% vegetables and greens and 20% insects. Feeding your adult bearded dragon too many insects will lead to obesity, since they don’t get as much exercise as beardies in the wild.

You only need to feed your adult bearded dragon once each day(it is ok to skip a day occasionally). Calcium deficiency can be a problem for reptiles, which can result in metabolic bone disease. Therefore, dusting your lizard’s food with a calcium supplement is an important aspect of their diet.

You should sprinkle your lizard’s food with a calcium supplement containing vitamin D3 an additional two to three times per week.

You can dust your beardie’s live insects or vegetation. To dust your bearded dragon’s live insects, place them in a container and sprinkle the calcium supplement or multivitamin onto the insects. Gently shake the container around a little to cover the insects in the supplement. Don’t shake the container too vigorously, though. You don’t want to accidentally kill any of the insects. Dust your lizard’s supplements on small amounts of food and offer this food first so you can be sure the supplements are actually being eaten. Inappropriate supplementation is a common problem for beardies in captivity.

Baby Bearded Dragon Diet Tips

Bearded dragons between birth and five months old are considered babies. A baby bearded dragon diet should consist of more insects than you feed older beardies because they’re rapidly growing.

Baby bearded dragons should eat a diet containing 80% insects and 20% vegetation. 

Feed baby lizards a couple of times a day and allow them to eat as many insects as they want in a 10-15 minute period each time. 

Clean up any leftover insects you can. You can leave some finely chopped vegetation in your beardie’s tank, and it will snack on them between mealtimes if it gets hungry and also give leftover insects something to chew on instead of your babies.

It is recommended that you dust your baby beardie’s food with a calcium supplement once a day for five days each week.

Juvenile Bearded Dragon Diet Tips

This species is considered to be a juvenile when it is between the ages of five and 12 months old. When they are this age, a juvenile bearded dragon’s diet should consist roughly of 50% insects and 50% vegetation. You can feed juveniles two to three times each day.

Juvenile bearded dragons continue to need more calcium than adults, but they no longer need as much as babies do. It’s recommended that you dust your juvenile bearded dragon’s food with a calcium supplement three to four times each week.

A bearded dragon’s juvenile period can be a tricky time in terms of diet because it’s an in-between phase.

Wrapping Up

A healthy bearded dragon diet keeps things simple. It takes what foods they can eat, factors in the appropriate ratio of food-type, and goes from there!

While it might seem complicated at first, you’ll quickly come up with a rhythm when it comes to feeding your beardie. The whole process will become second nature!

If there’s anything you think we can add to make this guide more helpful, don’t hesitate to let us know. We’re always looking for ways to improve the resources on our site!

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