List of Fresh Food

If your rabbit’s diet mainly consists of hay and pellets, then certain precautions have to be taken when you choose your pet’s daily vegetables. Below you can find a list of common fresh foods along with the suggested feeding frequency. If your rabbit mainly eats fresh grass, then the items listed under “occasionally” may be fed more often.

I created this list after hours of research and consulted various sources; however, please note that I am not a vet. In my experience and based on my research it is best to choose 5-10 different vegetables/herbs/fruits from this list at a time and offer small amounts of each every day. Bunny gets 3-4 cups of fresh food from the list below every day (along with hay, but no pellets). 

Please also be aware that not every rabbit will tolerate every food. All changes to a rabbit’s diet should be made slowly. Do not feed spicy vegetables or legumes. Iceberg Lettuce is often considered “unhealthy”, but only because it has very little nutritional value. You do not need to feed every item on the list; they are just recommendations.

And here is the Fresh Food List below as a printable pdf.

Vegetable/Herbs Information Never Occasionally Often
Apple Without Core and Seeds; has Sugar x
Arugula High in Calcium x
Asparagus Diuretic, feed rarely if at all x x
Avocado Causes Diarrhea x
Banana High in Sugar x
Basil x
Beans No Legumes x
Porree x
Onion No bulbous Plants x
Beet High in Oxalic Acid x
Blueberry High in Oxalic Acid x
Bok Choi High in Calcium x
Broccoli High in Calcium & Oxalic Acid x
Cabbage Introduce Slowly x
Carrot (with greens) High in Oxalic Acid, High in Sugar x
Cauliflower Introduce Slowly x
Celery High in Calcium & Oxalic Acid x x
Camomile x x
Cherry x x
Chicory High in Oxalic Acid; Inner Leaves only x
Chives High in Oxalic Acid x
Cilantro x
Collard Greens High in Calcium & Oxalic Acid x
Corn Feed Leaves, but not Corn itself (Starch) x x
Cranberry x
Cucumber Peel if store-bought (waxed) x
Dandelion High in Oxalic Acid x
Dill x
Eggplant High in Oxalic Acid; No Greens x x
Endive High in Calcium x
Escarole High in Oxalic Acid x x
Fennel With Greens; Without Core x
Grape No seeds x x
Pea No Legumes x
Iceberg Lettuce x
Kale High in Calcium & Oxalic Acid x
Kiwi High in Oxalic Acid x
Kohlrabi x
Leek No bulbous Plants x
Melon High in Sugar x x
Mint x
Mustard Greens High in Calcium & Oxalic Acid x
Okra High in Calcium & Oxalic Acid x
Orange High in Sugar; too acidic x
Oregano x
Parsley High in Calcium & Oxalic Acid x
Parsnip High in Oxalic Acid; Peel Skin x x
Peach x x
Pear High in Sugar; may cause Diarrhea x x
Pepper (sweet; bell) High in Oxalic Acid; No Seeds or Core x x
Pineapple High in Sugar x
Plum High in Oxalic Acid x x
Potato High in Oxalic Acid x
Pumpkin All kinds edible for humans x x
Radish High in Oxalic Acid x
Rasberry High in Oxalic Acid x
Rhubarb High in Oxalic Acid x
Romaine Lettuce x
Rosemary x x
Sage x x
Spinach High in Calcium & Oxalic Acid x
Squash High in Oxalic Acid x x
Strawberry High in Sugar; with leaves x
Sweet Potato High in Oxalic Acid x
Thyme x
Tomato NO GREENS; Feed only when ripe x
Turnip Greens High in Calcium & Oxalic Acid x
Watercress May irritate Respiratory System x x
Zucchini High in Oxalic Acid x x
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Author: Bunny Approved

7 Comments

  1. Bunny
    Bunny On July 21, 2012 at 6:14 am

    Please forgive me, but your list needs further research. Iceberg lettuce is a huge no no for rabbits as it holds ZERO nutritional value. There are timothy hay pellets that your rabbit does need. Papaya is probably the best fruit you can give to your rabbit seeing as it helps their digestive systems during shedding periods. All things high in sugar, such a fruits, should be given on a minimal basis because your rabbit can develop a sweet tooth and become addicted to it and stop eating their veggies. Should also mention that your bunny needs to eat its body mass in hay every day. And should have the amount of proportionate to its body weight. (I’ll have to detail this one later. I dont remember the ratio) Carrots are high in vitamin A. Very good for bunny. It’s ok to give them every day. I’m a long time owner of bunnies, and I wish to support all things to improve bunny lifestyles… However I do think that you should check with some rabbit savvy vets and get bunny safe feeding lists. This list is halfway where it needs to be. Again no offense. I’m sure everyone has a different idea of how to care for a rabbit.

    • bunnyapprovedblog
      bunnyapprovedblog On July 21, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Don’t apologize, I am glad we are having a discussion. Let me address your points:
      Lettuce contains many ingredients, but it’s mostly water. Why would water be bad for an animal that mainly eats herbs in the wild, which consist of 80-90% water? Lettuce is very refreshing, especially in the heat. Besides from water, lettuce also contains a lot of nitrate. The nitrate is only in the outer leaves and the core though, so if you prepare the salad for your rabbit like you would for yourself, then you eliminate the problem. Also, only if you look at its total weight does lettuce have very little nutritious value. Once you subtract the amount of water it contains, then you will see that lettuce does have nutritional value. I completely agree, though, that it shouldn’t be given as the only vegetable, but as one of several foods that is offered to the rabbit.
      About the pellets, I don’t think that a rabbit that is fed the way a wild rabbit would eat (herbs and grass and vegetables and sticks) would need any concentrated form of one of the grasses to survive. That being said, if the rabbit doesn’t get any fresh food (or no variety) and regular timothy hay isn’t available, then maybe those pellets would be necessary. I am not saying that processed food will hurt a rabbit or even that a rabbit on a hay and pellet diet is unhappy/unhealthy. It’s just far from the natural diet and therefore may cause long term issues. Same with humans. We can choose to eat fresh vegetables every day or frozen dinners with preservatives.
      True, any form of sugar should be given occasionally only, but a little treat is certainly okay. I am not saying you should feed an entire banana every 2 days. But an inch every 3-4 days, why not. It’s certainly better to feed fruit than to buy treats from the store that contain milk and eggs. Carrots are high in sugar, too, which is why they are not on the every-day list. From what I found, papayas are exotic fruits and may cause indigestion. If your rabbits can tolerate them, great! The list is a recommendation based on nutritional content. Some people can eat Philly Cheese Steak. I get really sick from it.
      I did mention that either fresh grass and herbs or hay should be given in unlimited quantities, so we agree on this one. My research isn’t based on what is the one and only way to feed a rabbit. It is based on what is the most natural and I am ranking it down. My sources are mostly of European origin, since it is more common there to own a pet rabbit and more research has been done. I also looked up calcium/sugar/oxalic acid content to confirm. There are certainly many ways to feed a rabbit; as long as they are happy and healthy it works!

      • Vicki Smith
        Vicki Smith On July 21, 2012 at 11:05 am

        I also was advised from my vet to avoid iceberg lettuce because of the water content. Don’t want the watery poos! My bunnies do get a baby carrot every day. Slice it in little pieces and hide it around the room for them to find! makes it a game!

        • bunnyapprovedblog
          bunnyapprovedblog On July 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm

          I’m not sure why a vet would say that too much water can make a rabbit sick. That makes no sense unless the vet means that a rabbit that gets dry, processed food most of the time will get sick when new food with so much more water content is suddenly introduced. The rabbit is just not used to it in that case. Iceberg lettuce shouldn’t be the only vegetable fed, because it is like rice for humans (fills up, but doesn’t have a lot of nutrition), but it isn’t harmful in itself.

          We love to hide Bunny’s food, too! Especially when we leave the house, we will hide pieces all over the living room, so Bunny can find them. ;)

  2. Lauren
    Lauren On November 16, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    I was wondering something about veggies. I know that a lot of them are too high in Calcium or other acids, and you shouldn’t feed them too often. But what if you feed a small amount of the ones that are too high in Calcium in each meal? So that maybe, say, 75% of the meal is the veggies that aren’t too high, and 25% consists of veggies that are “too high.” Would that be okay?

    Also where/how do you get fresh grass? I love the idea of feeding fresh grass and herbs, but it seems difficult to do. Maybe I’m misunderstanding.

    • bunnyapprovedblog
      bunnyapprovedblog On November 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      If your rabbit’s diet consists of mostly vegetables, herbs, and hay, then you don’t have to worry about high calcium and toxins as much. Most vegetables and herbs consist of 60-80% water, so any excess calcium will simply be flushed out. If the diet is mostly dry food and a bit of vegetables added in, then your 25/75 rule sounds about right. It depends on the rabbit, though. If you notice a softer stool than usual over several days, they probably get too much of the “bad” vegetables. We get fresh grass by taking Bunny outside to a grassy area that we know doesn’t have chemicals on it and that dogs/cats generally don’t visit. We don’t want dog pee on his grass! But you can also just grab a handful and take it home. Just don’t use grass cut by a mower or grass that has started fermenting already.

  3. Verica
    Verica On July 26, 2014 at 10:35 am

    my englis is very very bad, but….Bunny gets 3-4 cups of fresh food ….as in ”gr” ….ty so much

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