Bearded dragons are omnivores and eat both live feeders and veggies. Young dragons require more protein in their diets than older dragons, and for the first ten months to year of their lives, a dragon will eat a protein-heavy diet and that will slowly change after the first year. A common figure given to dragon keepers is that the dragon will go from an 80:20 ratio of feeders to greens, and that will change to a 20:80 ratio of feeders to greens. No dragon will follow a hard and fast nutritional rule, as their genetic make up and overall health will also be a factor in what level of nutrition they will require.
If you think about feeding your dragons in the same way that you think about feeding yourself, then you should naturally think of giving your dragons a varied diet. If you are feeding a diet that consists of several different kinds of insects and worms, then you won't have to work hard at making sure it is balanced. The varied diet is more likely to cover all the necessary nutrient and mineral requirements and is therefore the best diet for disease prevention and immune support.
Of special consideration is the ratio of calcium to phosphorus. Be sure to choose food items that are as close to a 2:1 calcium:phosphorus ratio as possible. This means there should be twice as much calcium as phosphorus in each feeder item. For example, the mealworm has a 1:25 calcium to phosphorus ratio, having 25 times more phosphorus than calcium, making it a terrible feeder choice. The cricket has a 1:12 ratio, and the silkworm has a 1:2.4 ratio. Calcium supplementation is required for any feeder that has greater than a 2:1 ratio, and that is all of the insects and worms except for black soldier fly larvae, which does have a 2:1 ratio. Refer to the words and images to the left which are labeled with nutritional information.
But how much do I feed? Baby dragons, or dragons under 6 months of age, should be fed salad greens once a day and protein three times a day. In the morning all ages of dragons should get some salad greens, such as collard greens, turnip greens or mustard greens. Some dragons will like one kind of green more than others and may truly dislike another kind of green. We have dragons that will not eat collard greens, and some that love mustard greens while others won't even try it. Experiment to find which staple greens that they like and stick to those. Healthy additions to the salad can be given occasionally, depending on your dragon's taste. Usually shredded yellow or green squash and shredded acorn or butternut squash are healthy items. Since fruit can causes a build up of yeast in their body, it is not recommended to feed more than 10% of the diet as fruit, and many keepers do not feed fruit at all and their dragons are happy and healthy. If you choose to feed fruit, many dragons enjoy blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, figs and strawberries.
A good rule of thumb for how much protein you should feed is to give as much as the dragon will eat in a 10-15 minute period. Usually a growing dragon won't get to the 15 minute mark, and most adults won't eat past the 5 minute mark, but some days they may be hungrier than others.
Lack of supplementation is one of the reasons dragons acquire metabolic bone disease (MBD) and wind up in rescues. Please make sure to dust their feeders with a calcium supplement and a multi-vitamin. Dragons up to one year old receive calcium dusted feeders 5 days a week and multi-vitamin dusted feeders 2 days a week. Dragons older than 12 months receive calcium dusted feeders 3 days a week and multi-vitamin dusted feeders one day a week. Their metabolism significantly slows as they reach a year old, and they will eat less feeders.