What Human Food Can Frogs Eat?

Frogs are cute and watching them eat can be a lot of fun. But trying to feed frogs human food can be dangerous for their health. Frogs and humans do not have the same eating habits and generally do not consume the same types of foods.

Foods that frogs and humans eat include live ants, larvae, grubs, crickets, certain snakes, and other frogs. Frogs are obligate carnivores that eat live food, and since humans mostly cook their food, frogs do not eat the same things as most humans. 

Get ready to be slightly grossed out, the (I sure was while I wrote this) and find out what human foods frogs can eat, as well as why humans and frogs have very few food choices in common.

List of Human Foods Frogs Can Eat

Foods that both frogs and humans eat include live:

  • Ants
  • Grubs
  • Larve
  • Crickets
  • Frogs
  • Snakes (Cobra)

If you just read that list and are thinking to yourself that you would never eat any of those things, and especially not live! You may be surprised to know that these animals are consumed in some places without being cooked or killed.

Live moth larvae and grubs are a common delicacy consumed in Australia for their high protein content. Live ants are also protein rich and consumed by many places around the world. Cobras are consumed live in some places, as are live frogs in Japan. And live crickets are consumed in parts of South America. 

Humans also eat a wide variety of live seafood. You may have already had live oysters. But live shrimp, still jumping around, is a common dish in parts of China. In Japan, “ikizukuri” is sashimi from living fish, and is considered a delicacy of the freshest meat.

Since the vast majority of frog species are not salt-tolerant, frogs do not consume shellfish or seafood like we do. The only foods that humans and frogs have in common are what we listed above. 

At this point you may be wondering why frogs cannot eat most human foods, and what frogs can eat. Let’s have a closer look at this question in the next section.

Frogs Cannot Eat Most Human Foods

Frogs are obligate carnivores that eat live food, and since humans mostly cook their food, frogs generally do not eat the same things as most humans. 

So if frogs in humans are to eat the same things, they would have to be animal-based foods that are alive. Since frogs are small compared to humans, they cannot eat most of the animal based foods that humans eat.

Here’s a table laying out what frog can and cannot eat when it comes to human food:

What Do Frogs Eat?TadpolesFrogsHumans
ApplesNoNoYes
BananaNoNoYes
BerriesNoNoYes
BlueberriesNoNoYes
OrangesNoNoYes
PeachesNoNoYes
RaisinsNoNoYes
StrawberriesNoNoYes
WatermelonNoNoYes
Hot DogsNoNoYes
AntsYesYesYes
SpinachYesNoYes

We eat beef, pork, and chicken. Although American Bullfrogs are known to snatch up small enough baby chickens, most frogs could not even attempt to eat a cow, a pig, or an adult chicken. The frog would be their lunch before it could be their predator.

Frogs should not be fed fruit because they are obligate carnivores and fruits contain high levels of fructose (sugar) which can be detrimental to frog health. Frogs cannot eat apples, bananas, berries, blueberries, oranges, peaches, raisins, strawberries, watermelon, or other fruits because frogs are carnivores and fruits contain high levels of fructose (sugar) which is not a part of a frog’s natural diet.

Tadpoles that are approximately 3 days to 6 weeks old are herbivores. At this stage they generally do not have any legs, and feed on algae phytoplankton, another decaying vegetation naturally found in their environment. 

When kept in captivity, young tadpoles can eat algae, boiled broccoli, cucumber skins, lettuce, leeks, cabbage, watercress, kale, zucchini, duckweed, phytoplankton, spinach, and detritus.

However, frogs should not be fed vegetables past their tadpole stage as they are no longer herbivores or omnivores once they become froglets.

Many frog species are ambush predators, so they look around for movement while hunting. If a frog sees prey that is smaller than their mouth, that is alive, moving, and unaware of their presence, the frog will probably consume it.  

So now that you know why frogs cannot eat human food, let’s have a look at what foods frogs can eat.

What Foods Frogs Can Eat

Frogs can eat live animal-based prey including worms, ants, flies, grubs, and larvae. Larger adult frog species also feed on larger prey including small birds, bats, snakes, lizards, and other frogs. 

Frogs hunt food that is moving and is small enough to fit into their mouth. Most human food does not fit that criteria, especially when it is processed and involves extra salts and sugars. 

Meats Frogs Do Not Eat

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Some people think it is ok to feed tadpoles and frogs hotdogs, bacon, hoagies, rolly pollies, and other salty or sugary foods. Frogs need to eat live animal-based prey in order to obtain the nutrients they need to survive. If you feed frogs human food and it eats it, the frog is probably unhealthy, starving, and may suffer illness, malnutrition, or death.

Here is a short table of things that frogs can eat:

What Do Frogs Eat?Mature TadpolesLarge Frogs
AntsYesYes
AphidsYesYes
Baby FrogsYesYes
Small WormsYesYes
FliesYesYes
Frog EggsYesYes
Small BatsNoYes
Small BirdsNoYes
Small SnakesNoYes

In the wild, frogs generally do not eat prey that is not moving or is dead unless they are starving. You can certainly imagine most human food does not move, and is much bigger than most frogs’ mouths. Therefore, frogs will not naturally consume human foods in the wild (CTNF).

So don’t feed frogs human foods because frogs eat food that is alive and small enough to fit into their mouths. And remember that there is no need to feed wild frogs, toads, or their tadpoles, they will find what they need in their environment.

Learn more about what frogs eat on our blog