Hermit Crabs Foods: What to Feed for Optimal Health

Hermit Crab food list

Do you know what hermi crabs eat ? Vegetables,nuts,meat and more in this 

Foods for Hermit Crabs guide , give you a good idea if you want them as a pet. 

Or you might want to learn about them. Let’s dive into more details.

Hermit crab food list guide with benefits

CategoryFood ItemsBenefits/Notes
FruitsMango, Papaya, Coconut (fresh or dried), Apples, Applesauce,Cantaloupe,Strawberries,Grapes,Apples,Bananas,Provides hydration, vitamins, and natural sugars. Coconut is part of their natural diet.
Bananas, Grapes, Pineapple, Strawberries, Melons
VegetablesCarrots, Spinach, Watercress, Leafy green lettuces, Broccoli,Celery,Cucumbers,TomatoesRich in vitamins and minerals. Darker greens are especially nutrient-rich.
ProteinsCooked eggs, meats(COOKED), seafood, Freeze-dried shrimp,Important for growth, exoskeleton strength, and overall health. Provide essential proteins and fats.
Plankton, Brine shrimp, Fish food flakes
Snacks and GrainsNuts (unsalted), Peanut butter, Raisins, Seaweed,Provide proteins, fats, and essential nutrients. Peanut butter is high in protein, good for molting crabs.
Crackers (no/low salt), Unsweetened cereals, Plain rice cakes,
Popcorn (plain, air-popped)Popcorn and crackers are good occasional snacks. Seaweed is rich in minerals.
Natural ItemsGrass, Leaves and strips of bark from deciduous treesNatural items that can mimic their environment and provide nutritional benefits.
Calcium SourcesCuttlebone, Calcium vitamin supplements, Crushed oyster shells,Essential for exoskeleton health, particularly during molting. Provides necessary calcium.
Coral sand, Crushed egg shellsCoral sand can double as tank substrate. Crushed egg shells are an easy homemade calcium source.

Hermit Crabs Fruits

Hermitcrabs fruits

Hermit Crabs Vegetables


Hermit Crabs Proteins

Hermitcrabs Proteins

Hermit Crabs Nuts

Hermitcrabs Nuts

Hermit Crabs Supplements

Hermitcrabs Supplements

Hermit crab food recipes

Here are three simple recipes for beginner hermit crab owners. These recipes use the foods listed in your categories, ensuring your hermit crabs get a balanced diet that is both nutritious and enjoyable.

1. Tropical Fruit Salad


  • 1 teaspoon chopped mango
  • 1 teaspoon diced papaya
  • 1 teaspoon shredded coconut (fresh or dried)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped apples (remove seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon applesauce (ensure it’s unsweetened and without additives)


Combine all the fruit ingredients in a small dish.

Mix gently to distribute the flavors.

Serve a small portion in your hermit crab’s feeding dish and remove any uneaten fruit after a few hours to prevent spoilage.

Benefits: This mix provides hydration and essential vitamins. It’s a sweet treat that mimics the variety of fruits hermit crabs might encounter in the wild.

2. Protein Power Mix


  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped cooked chicken or turkey (ensure it’s plain and fully cooked)
  • 1 teaspoon freeze-dried shrimp, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon brine shrimp or plankton
  • 1 small piece of cuttlebone (for calcium)


Combine the cooked meat and dried seafood in a small bowl.

Add the cuttlebone piece to the dish for hermit crabs to nibble on.

Serve this mix in your hermit crab’s feeding area and ensure to remove any remnants after 24 hours to maintain hygiene.

Benefits: This high-protein mix supports exoskeleton strength and overall health, with added calcium for molting support.

3. Veggie Delight


  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped carrots
  • 1 teaspoon chopped spinach
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped broccoli

A few pieces of watercress or leafy green lettuces


Wash all vegetables thoroughly and chop them into fine pieces.

Mix the vegetables in a small dish. Offer a small portion to your hermit crabs and clear the dish after a few hours to avoid spoilage.

Benefits: Loaded with essential minerals and vitamins, this recipe offers a nutritious blend of vegetables, especially beneficial with their rich content of darker greens.

These recipes provide a balanced diet, catering to the dietary needs of hermit crabs, with a variety of textures and nutrients. Always remember to introduce new foods gradually and monitor your pets for any adverse reactions.

You can take care of your hermit by reading this.

Hermit crabs weekly diet plan 

Here’s a detailed weekly diet plan for hermit crabs to ensure a varied and nutritious diet. 

This plan rotates through different categories of food, providing a good balance of proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, and essential calcium sources.

Weekly Hermit Crab Diet Plan

Day 1: Protein and Fruit Focus

Morning: A small piece of cooked chicken or fish.

Evening: Mango and apple slices.

Day 2: Vegetable and Calcium Day

Morning: Carrot sticks and spinach leaves.

Evening: A small piece of cuttlebone and crushed egg shells mixed into the food.

Day 3: Fruit and Snack Variety

Morning: Papaya and banana slices.

Evening: A few unsalted nuts and a small spoon of unsweetened cereal.

Day 4: Protein and Vegetable Mix

Morning: A small portion of cooked seafood (like shrimp or plankton).

Evening: Broccoli and watercress.

Day 5: Treat and Natural Items

Morning: A small portion of plain popcorn and rice cakes.

Evening: Leaves and strips of bark for natural foraging.

Day 6: Fruit and Calcium Boost

Morning: Coconut pieces and a slice of melon.

Evening: Coral sand mixed into the food or a small piece of crushed oyster shell.

Day 7: Full Variety Day

Morning: A mix of strawberries, grapes, and pineapple.

Evening: A blend of leafy greens (like dark lettuce and seaweed) and a teaspoon of peanut butter for a protein boost.

How to Know They’re Getting Enough:

  • Observe Your Hermit Crabs: Watch how they eat and what they prefer. Healthy hermit crabs are active and show interest in their food.
  • Monitor Their Health: Regular molting, good shell condition, and general activity are signs they are getting the nutrients they need.
  • Offer Variety: Regularly change the foods you offer to ensure they receive a range of nutrients.
  • Watch for Leftovers: Consistently uneaten food could indicate overfeeding or that they don’t like certain foods.

What You Shouldn’t Feed a Hermit Crab

Feeding hermit crabs properly involves knowing not only what to feed them but also what to avoid. Hermit crabs are sensitive to certain substances and foods that can be harmful or even toxic to them.

Here’s a list of what you shouldn’t feed to a hermit crab and an explanation of their dietary needs regarding calories and nutrients:

Foods to Avoid Feeding Hermit Crabs:

  1. Salted Foods: Any snack or food item with added salt should be avoided as excessive salt can be harmful to hermit crabs.
  2. Seasoned or Spiced Foods: Foods containing garlic, onions, or any spices can be toxic to hermit crabs.
  3. Citrus Fruits: Highly acidic foods like oranges, lemons, and limes can disrupt their digestive system.
  4. Dairy Products: Hermit crabs cannot digest dairy, so avoid giving them cheese, milk, or yogurt.
  5. Processed Sugars: Sugary foods like candy, chocolate, or any desserts can cause health issues and should be avoided.
  6. Pesticide-Contaminated Foods: Always ensure that any fresh food provided is free of pesticides, which can be lethal to hermit crabs.
  7. Oily or Buttered Foods: Avoid any foods that have been cooked with or contain oils and butter; these are not natural to their diet and can be harmful.


Can Hermit Crabs Eat Raw Meat?

Yes, hermit crabs can eat small amounts of raw meat, but it should be fresh and lean, like chicken or fish. It’s important to provide a variety of other foods as well, including fruits, vegetables, and commercial hermit crab food, to ensure a balanced diet.

How Do I Keep My Hermit Crab Healthy?

To keep your hermit crab healthy, follow these tips:

  • Proper Habitat: Maintain a humid environment (about 80% humidity) with a temperature between 72-80°F.
  • Clean Tank: Regularly clean the tank and provide fresh, chlorine-free water for both drinking and bathing.
  • Varied Diet: Offer a balanced diet including commercial hermit crab food, fresh fruits, vegetables, and occasional proteins like lean meats or fish.
  • Adequate Space: Ensure they have enough space to move around and places to hide.
  • Social Environment: Hermit crabs are social creatures, so consider having more than one, ensuring they have company.
  • Shell Selection: Provide various shell sizes for them to change into as they grow.

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