11 Human Foods You Can Feed Your Goldfish (Plus, What Foods To Avoid)

Goldfish are omnivores, and they share a lot of foods with humans: especially plants and vegetables. But not all human foods are safe for goldfish.

Knowing what human food goldfish can eat is a great way to improvise for when you run out of supplies for your goldfish.

Read on to find out 11 human foods you can feed your goldfish and what foods to avoid feeding.

What Human Food Can Goldfish Eat?

Gold fish in aquarium

Goldfish Can Eat Vegetables

Since goldfish are omnivores, it is only logical that vegetables should constitute your goldfish diet. Most vegetables you can use as safe food for your goldfish are leafy greens.

But not all leafy greens are safe. Here is a list of some to feed and what not to feed.


Your goldfish can eat spinach. Spinach is one of the safe leafy greens that offer much nutritional value for your goldfish.

This vegetable contains the vitamins A, C, K, and many other nutrients that your goldfish could benefit from.

Feed your goldfish spinach only as a healthy treat rather than a staple meal. Also, feed only fresh spinach. Cut the spinach leaves into swallowable portions and feed them right before a water change. This is so that you can clean up the leftovers during the water change.


Goldfish can also eat lettuce. This vegetable is one of the few leafy greens that goldfish can eat raw without digestive problems.

To help your goldfish eat lettuce, it would be best to cut the leaves to size before feeding them. Also, you want to avoid iceberg lettuce. They are dangerous for your goldfish.


You can feed your goldfish kale. Your goldfish can eat this dark leafy green only after it has been blanched, boiled, and shred into pieces.

Unlike many other human foods, kale is usually harder and has to be blanched and boiled for about 5 minutes to soften it. Ensure to cool it in cold water before shredding it to bits for feeding goldfish.


Cabbages are another leafy greens you can feed your goldfish. These densely-leaved leafy greens can be served raw or boiled.

You want to slice them into swallowable bits before you serve them raw. But it is best to serve them cooked.

Soften the cabbage by boiling it for no more than a minute. Slice them into tiny bits and serve your goldfish. Cabbages also work as a healthy treat for your goldfish.


Many ripe carrots

Carrots are another great leafy greens you can feed your goldfish. Feed your goldfish carrots. Apart from their nutrients, carrots are great vegetables for fish, especially if you want to bring out their color.

Amongst other useful vitamins and minerals, carrots contain carotene, which can enhance the color of your goldfish.

You need to scrape them to remove the dirt and hairs and wash the carrots to eliminate any harmful bacteria.

Cut the carrots into tiny bits, and remember to boil or microwave the carrots. Cooking the carrots will soften them and kill any other lingering dangerous bacteria.


picture of green peas

Green peas are not leafy greens, but they will work magic for your goldfish if you add them to your fish’s diet.

It is healthy food for your goldfish because it treats health issues like constipation, mild digestive issues, and even swim bladder disease.

Soften your peas either by soaking them in warm water for 1 minute or microwaving them for a minute in a bowl partly filled with water.

After softening your peas, remove the skin because your goldfish can choke on them. You can do this with your fingers. Afterward, cut up your peas into smaller pieces to ensure your goldfish can swallow and digest them easily.


Garlic Cloves in wooden bowl

You can feed your goldfish garlic. Make them eat garlic to boost their immune system. Garlic has the properties to kill harmful parasites and bacteria in your goldfish.

Garlic can also increase your goldfish’s appetite.

Although beneficial, garlic is one human food that should be given to your fish sparingly. It can become toxic if you make them eat garlic too frequently.

You can feed your goldfish garlic either by chopping it into tiny pieces and dropping it in the fish tank or grinding it into a fine powder that will be mixed with your fish food.

Goldfish Can Eat Fruits

Your goldfish can safely eat fruits as a healthy treat. Unlike vegetables, some fruits are naturally soft and can be fed raw.


whole banana

This fruit is one great human food you can feed your goldfish. It does not need to be cooked.

Unlike many other human foods that sink, bananas do not sink, making them a great option. You can also feed your goldfish with banana peels.

But avoid feeding dirty banana feeds. Also, avoid feeding banana peels if you are sure that the fruit was not organically grown.

Bananas are fruits rich in almost all the vitamins your goldfish needs. It has vitamins B6, C, and many other great minerals for your goldfish.

Bananas are also a good source of potassium and manganese, among many other nutrients. You only need to peel them, cut them up into small slices, and give them to your fish raw.

Slices of Cucumber

This human food is not as nutritious as many other foods, so it should be scarcely fed to your goldfish.

The first step in preparing the cucumber is to wash it and peel off the skin. You can microwave or boil it for a few minutes to make it soft.

Some people feed cucumber slices raw to their fish after peeling the skin off. This won’t harm them as long as the slices are small enough for them to chew without choking on them.

If there is any leftover cucumber at the bottom of the aquarium, do your best to remove it within 24 hours to prevent pollution from decay.

Other Alternatives for Goldfish Food


Oatmeal is a nice goldfish snack because it is rich in minerals, vitamins, and fiber. It has the perfect blend of almost all the vitamins your goldfish needs. Feed your goldfish oatmeal.

Although your fish can be fed oatmeal raw, it is advised that you either soak the oatmeal in warm water, microwave it, or cook it before feeding your goldfish. This is because your goldfish needs soft food, which is easily digestible.

If you opt to feed your goldfish raw oatmeal, ensure you cut it into small pieces. If you don’t do that, it’ll make the oatmeal harder for your fish to swallow, but it won’t necessarily harm them.

It would be best to avoid oatmeal with flavorings. The recommended quantity of oatmeal for your goldfish is one-quarter-sized oats 2-3 days a week.

Although all forms of oatmeal are in the category of processed foods, you can feed oatmeal to your goldfish.

But you want to feed this human food moderately to keep your goldfish nourished and healthy.

Sweet Potatoes

Unlike many other vegetables, sweet potatoes are a root vegetable. But you can feed them to your goldfish. This human food is very high in fiber, which aids digestion in the goldfish.

However, sweet potatoes should be fed to your goldfish minimally because of their high carbohydrate content. Foods high on carbs aren’t good for your goldfish.

You’ll need to cut the sweet potatoes up into sizes that are not more than one-quarter of an inch big. If it’s thicker than that, it will take longer to cook.

Afterward, you can either bake or boil the sweet potatoes until they’re soft enough for you to put your fork through.

You then immediately remove them and dip them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Letting the sweet potatoes cook for longer will make them mushy, messing up the fish tank.

What Human Food Should Not Be Used As Goldfish Food?


You want to avoid feeding some processed foods, and crackers are on the list. Crackers are processed foods high in starch and salt. Crackers are likely to expand in the intestine of your goldfish.

This human food can cause serious digestion issues like constipation. Moreover, crackers add little to no nutritional value to your goldfish. So it is a really bad idea to feed crackers to them.


Loaf of bread isolated on white

Since bread is made from grains, many aquarists feed goldfish bread. While you may notice they eat bread comfortably, it is not ideal to feed your goldfish this human food. Bread is one human food that will expand in your goldfish’s stomach and block crucial passageways.

Digestion issues in the goldfish’s stomach and other related health problems are likely to happen when you feed your goldfish bread.

Bread also adds little to no nutritional value to your fish if you let them eat bread. Do not provide goldfish bread or even let your goldfish eat bread at all for any reason.

It is better to be safe by not allowing your goldfish to eat bread than to risk it and watch the worst happen.

Oil and Fat

Oil and fat are two types of human foods you do not want in your fish tanks. These human foods pollute your fish tanks and pose health risks for your goldfish.

Do not feed your goldfish any fat or oil because these human foods can negatively impact the functioning of your fish’s liver.

While goldfish may obtain energy from fat and even fish oil, it would be best to avoid fat and oil from human food.

If you want to give your goldish some fish oil, it would be best for them goldfish pellets and flakes. These alternatives contain


Even though some goldfish eat rice and seem to enjoy it, it is not recommended to feed your goldfish rice. If the rice isn’t boiled well, it can expand in your goldfish’s stomach and lead to digestion issues.

Even if you thoroughly boil your rice, it will not offer any nutrients to your aquarium fish. Brown rice can perhaps enrich them with some fiber. But it is safer to avoid rice.

Related: What Happens if I Feed My Goldfish Rice?


Cereals should never be resorted to as part of the goldfish diet or treats. Cereals have the same problem as most harmful foods for fish. It can expand in your goldfish’s intestine, leading to digestion problems.

Asides from the possibility of expanding, some cereal products contain shocking quantities of chocolates and other preservatives and additives that are very harmful to your goldfish.


Variety of meats as appetizers

Human proteins like meat like chicken, pork, beef, and so on are very harmful to your fish because they are high in fat content.

If your goldfish consumes meat, fat will accumulate around the vital organs of its body. It can also lead to problems in their reproductive system.

Unless the meat is an aquatic animal like shrimps or fish, it’s not a healthy food for your goldfish. You should avoid feeding it. Whether it is processed or fresh meat, it would be best to avoid feeding it.

Goldfish Feeding Tips

Here are some goldfish feeding tips to make sure your fish safely eat these alternative foods.

Avoid offering unwashed vegetables and fruits. A thorough wash will prevent the introduction of harmful bacteria into your tanks. Boiling human food also prevents the introduction of bacteria into the tank.

While an automatic fish feeder may seem like a great idea, you will likely have a tank full of rotten, uneaten food. This will change the water quality for your aquarium fish.

Feed goldfish with human food that sinks. Eating on the surface will make them susceptible to bloating and swim bladder disease since they swallow air from the top of the tank.

Feed fresh foods and only feed what your fish can eat in about 120 seconds. If you wish to add any other human food, be sure to wash it and soften it before feeding goldfish.

Also, feed fresh foods as much as an alternative to processed foods. But fresh food here does not include a fish fry or other live food that would otherwise be part of the fish’s natural diet in the wild.

Final Thought on These Fish Food Alternatives

Human food is beneficial to your goldfish. You can always opt for this food list as an alternative to live food.

An automatic fish feeder can, however, be managed with human foods that are slow to absorb water.

You don’t need to fear for your fish fry whenever your regular goldfish food runs out. Ensure these human foods are soft and small enough for your fish to swallow and digest easily.

As omnivores, goldfish will eat human food since human food consists of fruits, greens, and other vegetables that are hardly different from the fish’s diet.

But do not let your goldfish eat bread or any other high-risk grain alternative.

Kelly Stanley