A nutritious meal

Best Senior Meal Delivery Services

As we mentioned in our article about caregiver duties, if you are caring for a senior, one of your major responsibilities will involve grocery shopping and meal prep. As our loved ones age, it becomes increasingly important for them to have a nutritious and healthy diet. At the same time, our elderly relatives may start to find cooking difficult and time-consuming. Even if they are able to prepare meals, their diet may not be sufficiently nutrient-dense, leading to a loss of muscle mass and strength. In turn, the lack of a nutritious diet can increase seniors’ risk of injury and illness. This is where meal delivery services come in handy. Meal delivery services bring prepped meals or portioned out ingredients to your loved one’s home, making it much easier for the elderly to stay healthy. In this article, we’ll talk about meal delivery services that offer either cooked and proportioned meals or meal kits that can be easily prepared. 

Benefits of Meal Delivery

There are many reasons why your elderly loved ones can benefit from meal delivery services. If they struggle with physical mobility or balance issues, delivered meals can eliminate the need for chopping, using a hot pan, or using the oven. If it’s memory issues they are dealing with, seniors can often feel unsafe cooking. With meal delivery services, there is no danger of your loved one leaving the stove on and burning something. Many of our elderly relatives also battle with tiredness, depression, or a myriad of other health issues that make them unmotivated when it comes to cooking. If your loved one lives alone or with a caregiver who is unable to prepare meals every single day, meal delivery services are a great way to ensure that seniors do not skip meals and receive the proper amount of nutrients. 

Some caregivers and seniors prefer prepped meals. Others would rather receive the ingredients and cook themselves. This article hopes to offer you a range of options that will help you find the right fit for your elderly loved one. 

Freshly 

If your elderly loved one lives alone and they only need fully prepared dinner a few nights a week, Freshly may be the right fit for them. Freshly is a meal delivery service that offers seniors single-portion, fully prepared meals. With Freshly, there is no need for cooking or preparation. Seniors only have to heat up the meal. Each meal can be frozen, lasts up to 5 days in the fridge, and is certified gluten-free. Freshly also allows seniors to choose low carb, low dairy, and peanut-free options from a range of about 30 meals each week. Seniors can choose between 4,6,10 or 12 meals per week, order online, and easily amend or cancel their order. Meal plans start at $8.49 per meal.

Magic Kitchen 

This meal delivery service is designed specifically for older adults and provides fully prepared frozen meals. Customers have the option to choose between an A La Carte menu – where they can mix and match soups, main courses, desserts, and side dishes, and a Complete Meals menu – which packages entrees and side dishes together. It’s also important to note that this meal delivery service has options for specific dietary needs. At times, our elderly loved ones have a detailed list of foods they are and are not allowed to eat. These strict diets can be difficult to accommodate. Magic Kitchen makes it easier for caregivers and the elderly. They tailor meals for low carb, low sodium, diabetes-friendly, dialysis-friendly, vegetarian, and renal diets. 

At Magic Kitchen, certified dietitians review each meal to make sure that it is nutritionally dense and most meals only need to be heated up in the microwave. Seniors have an option of choosing between 7,14, and 21 meals per week and the weekly rate starts at $11.70 per meal. 

Mom’s Meals 

At Mom’s Meals, dishes are designed by dieticians, fully prepared, and delivered at your door. This meal delivery service caters to older adults and has several meal plans that are suitable for seniors who have diabetes, cancer, difficulty swallowing, kidney disease, or other medical conditions. Their meals last for up to two weeks in the fridge, and are not frozen but refrigerated; so, they are easier to heat up. Prices start at $6.99 per meal and Mom’s meals also accept health insurance (Medicare and Medicaid) for payment, meaning that part or all of the cost may be covered by insurance. We suggest you contact Mom’s Meals customer service and your insurance provider to learn more about this. 

Diet-to-Go

Diet-to-Go is for those seniors that are worried about weight management. They make it much easier to enjoy healthy and nutritious meals each day by offering dishes that are portion-controlled. In addition, Diet-to-Go provides customers with access to a free health coach (via phone or email) and you can stop and resume the service at any time. 

Typically, this service provides two meals a day, five days a week, and costs $12.20 per meal. There are four main plans you can choose from: a weight control diet that is low in sodium, fat, carbs, and cholesterol; a heart-healthy nutritional diet that works to control your blood sugar; a plan designed for those who want to control carbs; and a vegetarian diet that substitutes eggs, dairy, beans, and soy in place for meat.  

Home Chef 

So far, we have listed meal delivery services that specialize in prepped dishes. However, you may be looking for a service that delivers groceries and ingredients in the correct portions, and leaves the cooking to the customer. If you are the one taking care of an elderly parent at home and cooking is something you enjoy doing together or alone, Home Chef could be the right option for you. With Home Chef, you’ll be able to make delicious, healthy meals without wasting time on prep work or grocery shopping. 

This meal delivery service provides ingredients for meals that can be made in under 30 minutes, offering over 15 different weekly recipes and low carb, low calories, and vegetarian options. You can choose between 2,4,6, and 8 servings per meal, and prices start at $6.99 per serving. 

How Do You Choose?

Each older adult has different needs when it comes to diet and nutrition. So, when choosing the meal delivery service for your elderly loved one, we suggest you consider what will work best for them specifically. Your senior may be struggling with low energy or a disability, making it difficult for them to cook. In this case, fully prepared meals would be the best option. Conversely, some seniors may thoroughly enjoy cooking and feel safe doing so. They may just not have enough time or motivation to do the grocery shopping. In this case, meal kit delivery services can provide them with the proper ingredients and lighten the load, allowing them to just enjoy the cooking process. 

If you are a caregiver for an older adult with specific dietary needs, you should also take this into consideration when choosing a meal delivery service. There are many different companies on the market that will tailor the meals to your senior’s requirements. Finally, if you’re worried about the affordability of the service, we advise you to find a company that accepts insurance and then, speak with your insurance provider and see if they offer meal delivery benefits. 

Here is a list of questions to think about before making your decision:

  1. What is your budget?
  2. Do you need single meals or several servings?
  3. Are there any dietary restrictions you need to keep in mind?
  4. How many meals does your elderly loved one need?
  5. What kind of delivery schedule works best for you?
  6. Does the delivery service have good reviews?

Meal Kits (Cook at Home)

NameDescriptionCostDiscountsProsCons
Hello FreshWeekly meal kit service delivers pre-portioned ingredients and recipes for you to prepare in your own home.Starts at $7.99 per serving, plus $9.99 shipping14 free meals, 3 surprise gifts, and free shippingA large variety of recipes with options including low-carb, low-calorie, vegetarian, and more.Cooking required (may be a pro for some) as well as clean up
Blue ApronThis meal kit delivery service is ideal for people who like cooking or want to learn to cook, and who enjoy unique, varied ingredients. Ingredients arrive pre-prepped and portioned.Starts at $7.49 per servingSave $60 on the first three boxesGood variety of nutritious foods, with the ability to avoid allergens
Choose meal plans with 2 or 4 servings each

Requires cooking and learning new cooking techniques (this may be a pro for some)
Clean up required


Meal Kit / Heat and Eat Hybrid 

NameDescriptionCostDiscountsProsCons
Home ChefPre-portioned ingredients and recipes, ideal for those who enjoy cooking or want to improve their skill. 
They also offer no-prep, no-mess options.
Starts at $6.99 per servingSave $90 over the first three deliveriesPersonalize preferences for vegetarian, low carb, low calorie or to avoid allergens.
No prep, no mess options include Oven Ready, Grill Ready and Fast & Fresh (microwave or oven)
Excellent variety of recipes, and opportunities to customize 
Tends toward high sodium content, and some nutritional facts are lacking. May not be suitable for those with heart or kidney disease  

Convenient Heat and Eat Options

NameDescriptionCostDiscountsProsCons
FreshlyOrder pre-made single-serving heat and eat meals online. Start at $8.49 per meal$30 off first two orders
$60 off first four orders
Easy and convenient to order and prepare
No cooking, prep, or dishwashing needed
Good variety of meals to choose from (30+)
Nutritious food
Fresh, not frozen
Entirely gluten and peanut-free. Low carb and low dairy options
Higher cost
Microwaved foods can’t compete with fresh cooked 
Eating from the container feels a bit like TV dinners (transfer to a plate to improve presentation)
TerritoryTwice weekly delivery of fresh single-serving meals, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.  
Cooked by chefs in your area. (Dallas, Tx team)
Starts at $13.95 per meal 
Home delivery is $7.95.
$75 off the first three orders and free shippingDieticians and nutritionists ensure meal options are appropriate for a range of medical conditions and it’s easy to filter selections based on a number of needs and preferences.
Excellent variety of fresh, high-quality food that tastes and warms up better than most pre-cooked options
No cooking or clean up
High cost per serving

Especially for Older Adults

NameDescriptionCostDiscountsProsCons
Magic KitchenA meal delivery service designed for older adults. 
Choose between A La Carte options and Complete Meals.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner options are available.
Starts at $11.70 per mealFree standard delivery for orders over $90 Dieticians review meals so they accommodate restrictions common among seniors (low sodium, low carb diabetic, dialysis, vegetarian)
Thaw, heat, and eat – no prep or clean up needed
Order online or via telephone
Higher cost
Frozen foods just can’t compare in quality to fresh foods, and may feel like eating a (high quality) TV dinner if eating it from the carton.
Silver CuisinePrecooked frozen meal delivery service aimed at older adultsBreakfasts start at $5.49 per serving, Lunch and dinners starts at $7.99 per serving
Shipping fee $19.99
10% off plus free shipping on first order
Discounts available for AARP members
A large variety of meals and snacks
No set menus, select from 150+ rotating items, order online or via phone
Healthy options include heart-healthy, gluten-free, diabetic, low carb, low sodium, menopause, dairy-free, Mediterranean, pescatarian
Shipping is expensive
Frozen meals can’t compare with freshly cooked food
Few options for vegetarians or those with allergies

For Budget-Conscious Seniors

NameDescriptionCostDiscountsProsCons
Mom’s MealsMeal delivery service tailored to older adults (and their caregivers and service providers) features fully prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinners designed by dieticians.Starts at $6.99 per meal, plus a $14.95 shipping feeNone foundDesigned by dieticians for restrictions common for seniors, such as diabetes, cancer, swallowing difficulties, and kidney disease
Meals last for 2 weeks in the refrigerator and are easy to heat in the microwave. No prep, no clean-up.
Order online or via telephone
One of the most affordable services, plus there’s a potential for Medicare or Medicaid to cover some of the costs.
Microwaved food can’t compete with freshly cooked food for quality
Depending on the diet, options may be somewhat limited 
Homestyle DirectPrecooked meal delivery service with an option to pay through Medicaid$6.95 per meal
Shipping $19.95
PromosThaw and heat in microwave or oven – no prep or clean up
Economical pricing plus potential for Medicaid to cover the cost
Order online or via telephone
Dietician-approved meals include options for low calorie, low fat, carb controlled, low gluten, low sodium and renal diets.
Microwaved meals can’t compare with the quality of fresh-cooked food
High shipping cost

Weight Loss Goals

NameDescriptionCostDiscountsProsCons
Diet-to-GoA ready-made frozen meal delivery service designed for seniors who wish to lose weight. Starts at $12.20 per mealSave 20% off your first weekChoose from different diets based on goals and preferences (weight control, low sodium, heart-healthy, low carb, vegetarian, etc)Meal options are pre-selected
Microwavable meals can’t compare to fresh food in quality

Conclusion

If your loved one is someone who struggles with cooking, grocery shopping, or just does not have the energy or motivation to create nutritionally-dense meals, a meal delivery service is a great way of making sure that they stay healthy. Whether you’re looking for fully prepped meals or meal kits, there are many different meal delivery services on the market, far beyond what has been listed here. But this list is a great start if you’re just trying to see what your options are. You can start by speaking with your healthcare provider to see if they can offer coverage for meal delivery. You can also reach out to a registered dietitian for advice and choose the best option for you and your elderly loved one.

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