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Young red eared sliders are primarily carnivores who later turn out to become adult omnivores. The nutritional needs of this turtle sort must be balanced with the inclusion of meat-based protein sources; as well as fresh vegetation. Any potential hobbyist should not solely rely on commercial diets. Juveniles need to be fed daily and as the turtle grows into adulthood this frequency is lessened to once every other day. 

Containing a good combination of vitamins and minerals; commercial pellets are beneficial to a red eared slider’s diet because it is fairly nutritious – not to mention convenient. But as convenient as pellet food can be; it is still advisable to offer your turtle a wide selection of fresh foods. It will provide a wide range of nutrients in various forms and can be absorbed by the turtle better if given in the natural state. 

Offering live food choices is also more stimulating to the red eared slider turtle; and is a good way to enrich its health as well as opportunity to hone its innate hunting abilities. As a rule of thumb; limit pellet feeding to about 25% of its nutritional needs; and make up for the rest of its nutritional needs with items listed in the following section of this chapter.

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