What to Feed Squirrels in Your Backyard? (& What Shouldn’t)

Written by: Helen Matthew

Updated on:

Feeding squirrels is easy, there are enormous foods that squirrels love. Mostly nuts and seeds.

But there are some foods that you should never feed a squirrel. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the best foods for squirrels and foods to avoid.

Also, different ways to feed squirrels will be discussed in a minute. Let’s start:

What to Feed Squirrels in Your Backyard?

Squirrels love nuts and seeds the most. So a combination of different nuts and seeds like pumpkin will be the best option for them. Squirrels can eat fruits & vegetables too.

Nuts and Seeds

Some of the nuts and seeds that squirrels like to eat are:

  • Hazelnuts
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Butternuts
  • Hickory Nuts
  • Pecans
  • Pumpkin seeds

Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits & vegetables that squirrels love to eat includes:

  • chopped apple.
  • carrots.
  • spinach.
  • green beans.
  • bean sprouts.
  • celery.
  • tomatoes.

What Should You not Feed a Squirrel?

You should not feed cashews, sunflower seeds, dried corn, pine nuts, Red Oak Acorns, junk foods, etc.

#1- Junk & Processed food

Let’s face it: Junk food doesn’t do anything good to our body. Snacks like candy, chips, and other processed foods have low nutritional value and aren’t suitable for squirrels.

Squirrels have a hard time digesting cellulose, so feeding them bread or other foods containing cellulose could make them sick.

#2- Peanuts

While most nuts are more than okay for squirrels, raw peanuts may contain a fungus that can hurt squirrels. Peanut butter or roasted peanuts are okay to feed them here and there but are still not the best option for them.

#3- Corn

Corn on the cob may be a squirrel’s favorite snack, but it doesn’t do much for them nutritionally. Corn is basically junk food for squirrels.

Foods that Wild Squirrels Eat


If a squirrel can’t get ahold of any nuts, fruits, or veggies, eating small insects will satisfy their need for protein. Some insects squirrels enjoy include caterpillars, winged bugs, butterflies, and crickets, if they can get ahold of them.


Squirrels love foraging, and not necessarily just in trees. Depending on the climate, there are a lot of fungi squirrels like to munch on. If you’re up for it, plant some mushrooms near where you’ll be feeding the squirrels as a little bonus for them!


We hope that you found this article helpful. Squirrels eat nuts, seeds, fruits & vegetables. Squirrels are opportunistic eaters, and would gladly eat pie or cake all day.

If you’re able to, choosing a feeder with a holder for water is extra helpful for squirrels. 

Leave a Comment