The Leadbeaters Diet was one of the first meal plans fed to captive gliders successfully, and was used at the Taronga Zoo for a number of years. This diet was formulated in Australia so when gliders became captive Bourbon modified the diet so it could be fed in America. The diet has a few shortcomings such as being extremely high in Calcium, iron, and the potentially harmful synthetic vitamin K3 known as Menadoine. The diet also has a limited selection of fresh produce causing a lack in variety.

BML must be fed with a strict list of fruits and veggies in order to remain a balanced diet.


1/2 CupHoney
1Egg (Hard boiled, scrambled or microwaved – no shell)
1/4 CupApple Juice
One 4 Oz BottlePremixed Gerber Juice w/ Mixed Fruit Yogurt
1 TeaspoonRep-Cal Herpivite Vitamin Supplement (Blue Label)
2 TeaspoonsRep-Cal Calcium Supplement Non-Phosphorous with Vit. D3 (Pink Label)
Two 2 1/2 ounce JarsChicken Baby Food (With Broth or With Gravy)
1/4 CupWheat Germ
1/2 CupDry Baby Cereal

Feed Nightly Per Glider

1 TablespoonBML Mixture
1 TablespoonFruits*
1 TablespoonVeggies*
*TreatInsects (Fed in morning)

*Specific Fuits and Veggies must be fed!

  • Fruits: apples, grapes, watermellon, cantalope, melon, frozen pitted cherries and blueberries
  • Veggies: corn, peas, carrots and green beans.

There are many ways to offer variety this is some of the ways I feed mine… please notice I am not changing the ingredients of the diet, but how it is offered.
After I spoon the BML mix into their bowl, I feed their veggies and fruits in various ways.
1.) Fold in a few frozen veggies.. corn, peas, carrots. etc. into the BML mix
2.) I will give them fruits and veggies during the day, for treats. reducing the amount I give them at night with their meal
3.) In a side bowl.
4.) If I “ICE” the BML mix with applesauce or another fruit, I will reduce the amounts of fruit offered. By Icing you take about 1/8 teaspoon of applesauce and spread it across the top of the BML mix, take the edge of a spoon and cut ridges into the BML mix.
Motts has snackpack flavored applesauce, try the different flavors to find out which ones your gliders like.

If they eat it all the first night add a little more each night until they only leave a little bit.

If they don’t eat it all, no need to worry. Back off on everything only half of the recommended amounts and only a few pieces of veggies, increasing each day until they leave only a little behind. If they are eating ¾ of a tablespoon each then they are doing good. There are gliders that do eat more thus the reason for the tablespoon.

Young joeys up to six months out of pouch may not eat the full amount offered or they may not eat as many fruits and veggies and eat more of the BML. This is not cause for concern, they are just not ready for it yet. You can introduce them by offering them as finger treats.

For nursing and lactating mothers. Stay with this plan, do not add or increase protein and calcium. They will eat more BML if needed and less fruits and veggies. They also may want more insects, you can increase theirs by 1 or 2.

They get up and down all night foraging, feeding and playing.

They only eat the insides of the corn, peas and greenbeans. So closer inspection may reveal they are eating more than you think.

Some very important things to keep in mind.

If your gliders suddenly stop eating it could be normal.

IF your gliders suddenly stops eating, it could be normal, if you have more than 1 cage, notice if all the cages slow down, if so there is probably a good explanation. I tell people to keep a log of their gliders eating habits, when they do slow down. check the moon phase, is there a lot of atmospheric activity. something stressful in the home, or changes made. I also ask people if they are famished when they go to the table each night? of course not, well then we shouldn’t expect our gliders to be either. Are we over feeding them, giving them too many treats, feeding the mealies at night before they eat. Changing their foods around too much.Offering too much?? please ask yourself these questions first. Gliders do not tire of their food, the plan allows for daily variety.

If you don’t remember anything, please remember that your gliders stomach is only as big as your thumbnail. it holds less than a tablespoon of foods and liquids.

***Special Notes***
For Joeys that are under 5 weeks OOP, please use the JOEY BML. Ask the breeder how they age them, some large breeders age them upon emergence into the pouch. If that is how they age them, subtract 60 days from their age.
If your glider has never been introduced to insects, it may SEEM like they do not like it, that is NOT the case. Break a mealie in half, allow them to lick the guts, or squeeze it onto your finger and offer it as a licky treat. This can be started very young (mine start this at about 3-4 weeks oop, but only the insides.) If they are older (over 8 weeks OOP), you may try dipping the half in their favorite licky treat.

As for insects, Depending on what you feed, and what size. I feed 2-3 Large (jumbo) mealies per day (not superworms) small 5-7, Large or jumbo 2-3, superworms 1. Some of the most popular insects are . Mealworms, moths, june bugs. My gliders do not like to have their mealies in the BML mix. I offer 2 to 3 mealworms each morning. I may also offer them a few moths, june bugs or Man’o’wars. If it is a bug.. Look out… In the summer the fav is moths, june bugs and man’o wars or skeeter eaters.. whichever people call them they look like giant mesquitos.
Caution : DO NOT feed fireflys/lightening bugs. Do NOT feed roaches, or any insects found on the floor or on the ground, which could have come in contact with pesticides, either from your place, or someone elses. We no longer suggest or advocate the use of crickets due to the problems posed with aflatoxin.

* Except for the introduction all of this content was taken directly from the diet creator’s website. These are her direct words. *