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I reallly want to start making my rats own food, but I'm having some trouble with some of the ingredients. One thing I'm having trouble with is dried fruit. What brand should I buy--everything seems to have such sugar in it. I know I need dried cranberries and bananas.

Also, what kind of Total cereal and Kashi cereal am I supposed to get?

Last, but not least... is this the right kind of pasta? :
http://www.barillaus.com/Products/47/tri-color-rotini.aspx
 

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I make my own food, and it is so much better for them--and cheaper in the end--than store-bought! So, great to see you trying it out!

There are several threads on homemade food here--you can also look up the "Shunamite" diet from the UK, which is what I base my own rats' food on. This is what my rats get daily:

Dry food mix:
Puffed rice
Puffed wheat
Cornflakes
Shredded wheat (the small cereal kind)

I mix an equal amount of all those ingredients, and put it in their food bowl in their cage. I also add a couple of uncooked tri-color pasta spirals to help keep their teeth trim. :) This is a photo of the pasta I use:



This dry mix is also supplemented with Harlan Teklad blocks, which you can buy online at The Rat Shop (http://www.theratshop.com/index.php). I always use this online store, and they are very efficient and fast with shipping! I always put a handful of blocks in their food bowl every day along with their homemade mix.

For breakfast in the morning, I also give them some high quality rolled oats. I use Bob's Red Mill brand:


Stanley gets only a few oats now, since he's on a diet, and Russ gets more.

For dinner, they get a variety of veggies and occasionally some fruit (grapes, berries). If you'd like to feed them some baby food, good kinds are butternut squash, peas and sweet potatoes.
 

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Try a health food store, you should find unsweetened dried fruit for cheap :).
 

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Regarding baby food, you really need to find out what flavors they do or don't like as all rats are different. My boys always loved squash and peas baby food but for some reason they did not like the fruit kinds, like banana, etc. Just personal preference. I guarantee though, that once you find a flavor they love, they will LOVE it. I never gave my boys dried fruit because it has so much sugar and can sometimes be flash fried or whatever that term is. Fresh fruits are always better. They don't really need to have any dried fruit in their food mix.
 

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Yes, I agree with Vlad--I would advise against including dry fruit in their daily mix, and really, it's not necessary at all. Fruit in general should be more of a rare treat rather than a daily occurrence, because it contains natural (or added, in the case of many dry fruits) sugars, which are not good for rats. Fresh vegetables are the most important addition to their diet. Baby food is fine on occasion, too, but you should give them fresh veggies as often as possible. Kale, bok choy, tomatoes, peas, carrots are all good for them. Here is a good list A-Z of veggies that are good and safe for rats:

http://www.fancy-rats.co.uk/community/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=64533
 

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Great post from Breyer...couldn't have said it better myself! I used to give my boys a little plastic spoonful of baby food, spread out on a tiny plate as a treat for them, but not every single day. Sometimes a few times a week maybe, but all ratty parents have differing opinions on this. Some people think it is fine to give it every day as a treat and some people only once or twice a week, but I used to be such a pushover and give it them more often, because, well, let's say my ratty kids ruled ME! Ha ha.
("Cmon mom, PLEASE I want more baby food, please!!)
 
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