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Seniors, or older adults, may wish to use a meal delivery service for convenience and ease. Some brands cater to older adults by specifically considering their health requirements.
Older adults may only need meals for one or two people and may be unable to shop for ingredients or cook meals easily.
Using a meal delivery service can help save time and effort. There are many brands available online, but some may be more suitable for an older person’s health and lifestyle requirements.
This article looks at five meal delivery services that are suitable for older adults. It discusses how they work and looks at their menus. It also looks at potential health benefits and drawbacks of meal delivery and some alternatives that people can consider.
Meal delivery services offer either ready-made meals or meal kits.
Meal kits include ingredients and a recipe, which a person can use to prepare meals at home.
Some older adults may prefer the convenience of heating up a ready-made meal. Others may enjoy cooking but like not having to source recipes or shop for ingredients, in which case they may prefer a meal kit.
Brands that deliver meals for one or in smaller portions may suit older adults. Additionally, some older adults may have health conditions or need to eat special diets, so they may prefer services that provide meals to suit them. Depending on their health, some older adults may need to eat pureed food, and some brands offer this.
Older adults may prefer to use a service that is easy to order from and has the flexibility to skip weeks or vary the number of meals they choose.
With these points in mind, the following meal delivery services may be suitable for older adults.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried any of these products. All information presented here is purely research-based.
Magic Kitchen offer a menu of preprepared meals specifically for older adults and their health requirements. These meals simply require heating up before eating.
Customers can choose to enroll in the senior meals program for regular meal deliveries, or they can opt for one-time deliveries.
Dietitians formulate these complete meals, which contain around 300–500 calories each.
The a la carte menu has options for:
The following are some examples of menu options:
- breakfast scramble, hash browns, and asparagus
- beef lasagna with peas and carrots
- eggplant parmigiana and polenta with spinach and roasted peppers
Some available desserts include:
- carrot cake
- cinnamon raisin bread pudding
- panna cotta
Silver Cuisine deliver meals to meet the nutritional needs of people aged 50 years and over. Customers can order their meals online or by phone.
They offer breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that people can filter with the following preferences:
The following are some meal examples from the menu:
- roasted tofu and ancient grain salad bowl
- turkey breast with cranberry-apple chutney
- grilled salmon with dill mustard sauce
Silver Cuisine also offer shakes and snacks.
For older adults who enjoy cooking their meals, Home Chef offer weekly meal kits to prepare at home.
People can select calorie-conscious or vegetarian meals and customize them to double up on protein or swap ingredients. People can choose meals that they can prepare in 5 minutes or meals that take longer.
Home Chef also offer oven-ready or grill-ready meals that people do not need to prepare, only heat up.
The following are some examples from the menu:
- creamy sun-dried tomato chicken penne bake with mozzarella
- cashew tofu
- pork tenderloin medallions with French green peppercorn sauce and zucchini
Mom’s Meals deliver ready-made meals. People can store them in a refrigerator for up to 14 days.
According to their website, Mom’s Meals work with over 500 health plans providing access to meals for people with Medicare or Medicaid coverage.
Mom’s Meals offer the following meal preferences for older adults:
- renal friendly
- lower sodium
- cancer support
- general wellness
Examples of meals include:
- creamy macaroni and cheese and seasoned vegetables, applesauce, and a cookie
- pork rib patty with barbecue sauce and seasoned vegetables, a whole wheat bun, and an orange
- broccoli cheese soup and spiced blueberry and apple crisp
All the meals that Real Eats deliver serve one adult. They contain 600 calories or fewer and work for lunch or dinner, according to the company’s website.
Real Eats serve their meals in bisphenol A-free pouches that people can either heat up in boiling water or empty into a container and put into the microwave. People can choose from gluten-free, plant-based, or high protein options.
People can order breakfasts, brunches, and snacks from Real Eats.
Example meals include:
- Texas-style beef brisket
- smoky four-bean chili
- carrot ginger soup
Some older adults may be eligible to use services such as Meals on Wheels America or arrange meal delivery through their health insurance provider.
Some restaurants also deliver meals, but people should make sure that they are healthful if they eat them often.
Some people may offer to take friends or relatives home-cooked meals when they can. They could batch cook an extra portion and freeze it for someone who needs it. People may also be able to find local groups or communities offering food or meal sharing.
Meal delivery services can cater to a person’s health conditions and help them remain independent. Consuming meals designed by chefs and dietitians helps ensure that people get the essential nutrients they need.
According to one 2017 review, some of the health challenges that older adults may face include:
- changes in taste and smell
- dental and chewing problems
- limitations in mobility and access to high quality fresh food
- age-related inefficiencies in the absorption of nutrients
- frailty and loss of muscle mass
- cognitive issues
The review suggests that all people can reduce the risk and impact of age-related disease by paying careful attention to their nutrition and diet.
It is essential to choose a meal delivery service that suits the individual.
People with cognitive challenges may not be able to communicate their preferences adequately and may not like to eat meals that someone else has ordered for them. Other individuals may find it difficult to eat certain foods or textures.
People should choose a service that follows nutritional guidelines for older adults. Also, the regular variation of meals will help people consume a variety of nutrients.
Older adults may also have an increased risk of dehydration, so they must be sure to drink enough liquids. Some meal delivery services also provide soups, smoothies, and drinks for this purpose.
Meal delivery services are a convenient way for older adults to eat a healthful diet. This arrangement may suit people who find it difficult to plan and prepare meals.
People can choose a delivery service that fits their health and dietary needs. Costs and plans vary, so people should try to research what suits them best.
Some older adults may be able to access meal delivery through their health insurance provider.