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A meal delivery service can provide ease and convenience. Some brands cater to older adults by considering specific health requirements.
- Best overall meal delivery service for seniors: Magic Kitchen
- Best flexible meal delivery service for seniors: Real Eats
- Best self-prepared meal delivery service for seniors: Home Chef
- Best low-cost meal delivery service: Silver Cuisine
- Best meal delivery service for seniors with special diets: Mom’s Meals
A meal delivery service may suit someone who needs meals for only one or two people and who may have difficulty with shopping and cooking. Many of these services are available, and they cater for different health and lifestyle requirements.
Below, we describe five meal delivery services that may be suitable for older adults. We discuss their menus and how each plan works. Then, we explore the potential health benefits and drawbacks of these services and look at some alternatives.
Meal delivery services offer either readymade meals or meal kits. These kits include ingredients and a recipe, and so require some preparation.
Brands that deliver meals in smaller portions or meals designed for one or two people may suit older adults. Other people may have special dietary requirements, such as gluten-free or pureed food, and some brands cater to these.
Older adults may prefer to use a service that makes ordering easy and has plenty of flexibility about skipping weeks and varying the number of meals in each order.
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 these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Best overall meal delivery service for seniors: Magic Kitchen
Magic Kitchen offers prepared meals designed to meet the health requirements of older adults. The meals just need heating up.
A person can enroll in a senior meals program for regular deliveries or opt for one-off deliveries.
The company highlights that dietitians formulate these meals, which are complete and contain around 300–500 calories each.
The à la carte menu has:
Here are some examples of the options:
- a breakfast scramble, hash browns, and asparagus
- beef lasagna with peas and carrots
- eggplant parmigiana and polenta with spinach and roasted peppers
Some dessert options include:
- carrot cake
- cinnamon raisin bread pudding
- panna cotta
Meals cost $12–60, with an additional shipping cost that starts at $18.95. The company delivers anywhere in the continental United States.
Best flexible delivery service for seniors: Real Eats
Real Eats meals serve one adult and work as a lunch or dinner. Real Eats also offers breakfasts, brunches, and snacks.
Each meal comes in a Fresh Pack pouch that people can heat in boiling water or in the microwave within 6 minutes.
These pouches are also suitable for freezing. Most of the packaging is made of recycled and recyclable materials.
The company has over 20,000 meals, including gluten-free, plant-based, keto-friendly, and high protein options. Example meals include:
- shredded chicken fajitas
- Southern BBQ steak
- garlic lime shrimp
- butternut squash soup
People can customise any meal by swapping components such as proteins or sides.
Real Eats states that it does not use artificial sweeteners or preservatives, and focuses on using as few ingredients as possible. The company claims to use fresh, simple ingredients.
There is no subscription required. Meals are delivered weekly, and a person can skip, pause, or cancel their order at any time for no extra cost.
The cost per meal starts at $9.09 and increases based on how many meals per week a customer chooses. There is no additional shipping fee.
Best self-prepared meal delivery service for seniors: Home Chef
For older adults who enjoy cooking, Home Chef offers weekly meal kits. Some take only 5 minutes to prepare. The company also has oven-ready or grill-ready meals that a person simply heats up.
People can select calorie-conscious or vegetarian meals and customize them to double up on protein or swap ingredients.
Here are some examples from the menu:
- a creamy, sun-dried tomato chicken penne bake with mozzarella
- cashew tofu
- pork tenderloin medallions with French green peppercorn sauce and zucchini
Meals start at $6.99 per serving, with shipping costs ranging from $7.99–13.99. The company says it delivers to 98% of the U.S.
A person can cancel their subscription at any time, and weekly meals can be skipped or postponed for as long as necessary.
Best low-cost meal delivery service: Silver Cuisine
Silver Cuisine caters to the nutritional needs of people aged 50 and over. A person can place an order online or by phone.
The company offers breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. A person can choose options that are:
Some example meals include:
- a roasted tofu and ancient grain salad bowl
- turkey breast with cranberry-apple chutney
- grilled salmon with dill mustard sauce
Silver Cuisine also offers shakes and snacks.
Meals start from $6.49, and the company delivers throughout the contiguous U.S., with an added shipping cost of $19.95. There are no contracts, so a person can order at their own pace.
Best meal delivery service for seniors with special diets: Mom’s Meals
Mom’s Meals delivers readymade meals. A person can refrigerate them for up to 14 days.
The company says it works with over 500 health plans and provides access to meals for people with Medicare or Medicaid.
Mom’s Meals has options that are:
- renal friendly
- lower sodium
- designed for cancer support
- designed for general wellness
Examples of meals include:
- creamy macaroni and cheese and seasoned vegetables, applesauce, and a cookie
- a 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
Prices begin at $6.99 per meal, and shipping costs $14.95. There is no commitment or contract, making cancelling, postponing, or skipping meals easy. The company ships everywhere in the contiguous U.S.
Some older adults are eligible for services such as Meals on Wheels America or meal deliveries through their health insurance provider.
Some restaurants also deliver meals, and if a person relies on this often, it is important to ensure that the diet is balanced and healthy.
Some people may offer to take friends or relatives home-cooked meals when they can. Also, some local community groups offer food or meal sharing.
If a person cooks, making big batches and freezing portions for later may make overall meal preparation easier.
Some meal delivery services cater to dietary needs of older adults and can help people stay independent. Opting for meals designed by chefs and dietitians helps ensure that the diet includes all essential nutrients.
- changes in taste and smell
- dental and chewing problems
- limitations of mobility
- limited access to high-quality, fresh food
- age-related inefficiencies in the absorption of nutrients
- frailty and loss of muscle mass
- cognitive issues
When choosing a meal delivery service, it is important to note that people with cognitive challenges may not be able to communicate their preferences and may not eat meals that someone else has chosen.
It is also important to consider:
- the texture of meals
- whether the company’s meals are aligned with nutritional guidelines for older adults
- the available variety of meals
- the availability of drinks and soups
Older adults may have an
Meal delivery services can be a convenient way to support a healthy diet. They may suit people who find it difficult to plan and prepare meals.
Many different plans are available, and it is important to consider costs, tastes, and health and dietary needs. Also, some older adults may have access to meal deliveries through their health insurance providers.