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A meal delivery service can provide ease and convenience. Some brands cater to older adults by considering specific health requirements.

A meal delivery service may suit older people who have difficulty shopping and cooking or those looking to explore new dishes. Many of these services can cater to different health and lifestyle requirements.

This article describes nine meal delivery services suitable for older adults. It discusses their menus and how each plan works. It also explores the potential health benefits and drawbacks of these services and looks at some alternatives people can consider.

Medical News Today’s methodology

Medical News Today chooses meal delivery services that fit the following criteria:

  • Nutritional value: MNT chooses meal delivery services that meet the average person’s nutritional needs and promote healthy eating habits.
  • Ingredient quality: MNT chooses meal delivery services that use fresh, high quality ingredients. Some also use organic produce or sustainably sourced ingredients.
  • Variety: MNT chooses meal delivery services that feature a range of flavors and ingredients to suit different taste preferences and diets.
  • Price: MNT chooses meal delivery services with different price points to suit a range of budgets.
  • Availability: MNT chooses meal delivery services available throughout most of the United States.
  • Sustainability: MNT chooses meal delivery services that reduce their environmental impact by employing recyclable packaging, carbon neutral shipping, local ingredients, or other sustainable practices.
  • Reputation: MNT only chooses brands that adhere to industry best practices and have passed our medical vetting process.
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The table below shows how our testers ranked the services they tried.

1/5 and 2/53/54/5 and 5/5
Ease of preparationchallengingintermediateeasy
Ingredients freshnesspast their beststarting to turnfresh
Affordabilityexpensiverequires budgetingaffordable

Below, we discuss 9 of the best meal delivery options for older people. Editors and freelance writers from MNT and Healthline, our sister company, have tried several meal delivery services in this list. The companies sent the editors and writers free kits to review. All quotes are their own.

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: Magic Kitchen

  • Price: starting from $12 per meal
  • Diets: dairy-free, low carb, low fat, low sodium, dialysis, renal, diabetic, vegetarian
  • Menus: à la carte, meal bundles, complete meals

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.

Magic Kitchen offers meals for people with specific health conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease, and it also has vegetarian, low sodium, and gluten-free options.

The company highlights that dietitians design these meals, which are nutritionally complete and contain around 300–500 calories each.

The à la carte menu has:

  • mains
  • soups
  • sides
  • desserts

Meals cost $12–60, with an additional shipping cost starting at $18.95. The company delivers anywhere in the continental United States.

Learn more about Magic Kitchen.


  • The company offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts.
  • Dieticians design the meals.
  • There is no prep necessary.
  • The service caters to a range of dietary needs.


  • Shipping is expensive.
  • Some meals can cost $60.
  • The price per serving is higher than those with other companies.
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Best self-prepared: Home Chef

  • Price: starting from $9.99 per serving for six meals
  • Diets: low calorie, low carb, vegetarian
  • Menus: calorie-conscious, < 30min, carb-conscious, vegetarian

For older adults who enjoy cooking, Home Chef offers weekly meal kits. Home Chef writes that some meals take just 5 minutes to prepare. The company also has oven-ready or grill-ready meals that a person must simply heat.

People can select calorie-conscious or vegetarian meals and customize them to double up on protein or swap ingredients. People can also choose recipes that exclude certain ingredients, such as wheat, soy, seafood, nuts, poultry, and milk.

Customizing meals can change the price.

Meals start at $9.99 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.

Learn more about Home Chef.

Our tester’s review

  • Test duration: up to a week
  • Ease of preparation: 5/5
  • Ingredients freshness: 4/5
  • Affordability: 4/5

“I had a good experience with Home Chef. The meals were really tasty and came together very easily with helpful and straightforward recipe cards. I liked that the meals were simple, and the sauces added lots of flavor. Home Chef also offered a lot of add-on salads and sides to stretch the meals further.” — SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD, registered dietitian and freelance writer


  • People can customize their meals.
  • People can filter recipes based on ingredients they wish to exclude.
  • The brand offers meal kits and ready-to-heat meals.
  • The plan is flexible.


  • There is a minimum weekly order value of $47.96.
  • Customizing meals may make them more expensive.
  • There is a more limited range of menus than other brands.
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Best low cost meal delivery service: Silver Cuisine

  • Price: starting from $6.49 per meal
  • Diets: vegetarian, low sodium, heart-healthy, diabetic, low carb, menopause, dairy-free, Mediterranean, gluten-free
  • Menus: one menu with all dietary options

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:

Silver Cuisine also offers shakes and snacks.

Prices 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.

Learn more about Silver Cuisine here.


  • The price per serving is lower than some brands.
  • Meals cater to a range of dietary needs.
  • There is no minimum order value.
  • A person does not need to sign up for a subscription.
  • People do not need to prepare the meals themselves.
  • The meals are chef- and doctor-designed.


  • Shipping is expensive.
  • The calorie count may be too low in some meals.
  • Orders can take up to 5 days to arrive.
  • The company delivers 3 days a week.
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Best for special diets: Mom’s Meals

  • Price: starting from $7.99 per meal
  • Diets: vegetarian, gluten-free, low sodium, diabetes-friendly
  • Menus: cancer support, vegetarian, general wellness, diabetes-friendly, gluten-free, heart-friendly, lower sodium, pureed, renal-friendly

Mom’s Meals delivers ready-made 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:

  • diabetes-friendly
  • heart-friendly
  • renal friendly
  • gluten-free
  • vegetarian
  • pureed
  • lower sodium
  • designed for cancer support
  • designed for general wellness

Prices begin at $7.99 per meal, and shipping costs $14.95. There is no commitment or contract, making canceling, postponing, or skipping meals easy. The company ships everywhere in the contiguous U.S.

Learn more about Mom’s Meals here.


  • This service offers meals to people under certain Medicaid and Older American Act programs.
  • Mom’s Meals offers meals suitable for older people with a range of health considerations.
  • There is no contract.
  • The meals are dietitian- and chef-designed.


  • Shipping is expensive.
  • There are no vegan meals.
  • The menus vary by state, program type, and health condition.
  • A person must contact a case manager or the Mom’s Meals Customer Care team for specific menu information.
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Best keto-friendly: Snap Kitchen

  • Price: starting from $11.34 per meal
  • Diets: keto, low carb, paleo, Whole30, high protein, gluten-free, soy-free
  • Menus: premade and ready-to-eat meals

Snap Kitchen offers chef-crafted meals, salads, and desserts free of preservatives, antibiotics, and hormones.

People can choose between premade and ready-to-eat meals.

Prices will vary depending on whether a person opts for six or twelve meals per week. Meals cost $13.84 each on the 6-meal plan and $11.34 on the 12-meal plan. Shipping is free.

There is also a free membership called the Snap Pass. It offers customers 5% off every order, individual chats with registered dietitians, and access to special events and chef tastings.

Our tester’s review

  • Test duration: up to a week
  • Ease of preparation: 5/5
  • Ingredients freshness: 4/5
  • Affordability: 4/5

“This service is a good fit for people who live busy lifestyles. Those following low carb diets and people focused on weight loss would likely benefit from these meals, too. However, for the price, I would expect to get more food in each meal.” — Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, registered dietitian and freelance writer


  • Shipping is free.
  • The Snap Pass membership is free and offers 5% discounts.
  • The Snap Pass membership is flexible.
  • All of the meals are free of gluten and soy.
  • Snap Kitchen can deliver meals within a day.


  • Meals are more expensive than some other brands.
  • People cannot order fewer than 6 meals a week.
  • Local pick-up is only available in Austin, Dallas, or Houston, Texas.
  • The meals have a shorter shelf life than other options.
  • People cannot customize their meals.
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Best for large vegetable portions: Green Chef

  • Price: starting from $11.99 per serving
  • Diets: keto, low carb, balanced, gluten-free, vegetarian, high protein, vegan
  • Menus: keto, vegetarian, Mediterranean, fast & fit, vegan, gluten-free, protein-packed

Green Chef is a certified organic meal kit company offering nutritionist-approved recipe kits. It states it sources its ingredients from farmers.

A person must choose their dietary preferences and box size to start a subscription. Options include two to four meals a week for two to six people. The more meals a person orders, the cheaper each meal becomes. Prices start at $11.99 per meal.

There is a flat shipping and handling fee of $9.99 for all orders.

Our tester’s review

  • Test duration: up to a week
  • Ease of preparation: 3/5
  • Ingredients freshness: 5/5
  • Affordability: 3/5

“Unlike many other services, Green Chef’s meals contain a good amount of vegetables. Plus, all of the meals I tried were flavorful and satisfying to eat.” — Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, Healthline Nutrition Editor II


  • The company caters to a wide range of diets.
  • Green Chef delivers 6 days a week.
  • The majority of the ingredients are organic.
  • Shipping is cheaper than many other companies.
  • The company supports local suppliers.


  • The meals are unsuitable for people who do not want to prepare food themselves.
  • There are fewer weekly recipes than other companies offer.
  • People must give 5 days’ notice to change their plan, which may be inconvenient.
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Best for busy schedules: The Good Kitchen

  • Price: $148 for 10 meals
  • Diets: plant-based, paleo, low carb, gluten-free, keto, Mediterranean
  • Menus: no information available without an account

The Good Kitchen meals involve no prep: A person simply needs to heat them for 3–4 minutes. People can order 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, or 30 meals in one order, and the company can make deliveries weekly, biweekly, or monthly. People can also make one-time orders as and when they need to.

Prices will vary depending on how many meals a person orders, but generally meals cost between $11–15. One-time orders may have higher prices than subscription orders. Shipping is $6.99 for small orders and free for orders over $150.

Learn more about The Good Kitchen.


  • The meals are very quick to heat.
  • People can order large amounts of meals.
  • It is possible to make one-off orders.
  • All of the meals are gluten-, peanut-, and soy-free.
  • There are Whole30 Approved meals available.
  • The company caters to a wide range of alternative diets.


  • The meals are generally more expensive than other options.
  • The price of meals may increase if a person makes a one-time order.
  • A person must spend $150 for free shipping.
  • A person cannot view the menu online without making an account.
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Best for dietitian-designed meals: Factor

  • Price: starting from $10.99
  • Diets: keto, low calorie, vegan, vegetarian, and high protein
  • Menus: chef’s choice, keto, calorie smart, vegan & veggie, protein plus

Factor offers 35 dietitian-designed meals each week. The company also offers 20-minute online video sessions with a nutrition coach or dietitian.

Individuals can order 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, or 18 meals per week and add extra side dishes or desserts.

Meals are cheaper in larger orders. Serving prices range from $10.99–13.49. Shipping costs $9.99.

Our tester’s review

  • Test duration: up to 1 month
  • Ease of preparation: 5/5
  • Ingredients freshness: 4/5
  • Affordability: 2/5

“I would recommend Factor to readers. I think Factor just does a lot of things right. The ingredients are high quality, the meals are fresh and never frozen, the entrees are well-seasoned, and there’s a good variety of flavor profiles and cuisines to choose from.”
— Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, Healthline Nutrition Editor II

Learn more about Factor.


  • Customers can order a large number of meals each week.
  • There is a range of menus to suit different lifestyles.
  • The meals do not involve any prep.
  • People can speak with a nutrition coach or dietitian through Factor.


  • There is a more limited range of meals on offer each week than with other brands.
  • There may be more limited vegetarian and vegan dishes available each week.
  • People must eat meals within 7 days.
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Best for diabetes: Sunbasket

  • Price: starting from $11.49 per serving
  • Diets: diabetes-friendly, pescatarian, low carb, pescatarian, gluten-free, keto, paleo, and vegetarian
  • Menus: paleo, carb-conscious, gluten-free, diabetes-friendly, vegetarian, pescatarian, Mediterranean, keto-friendly, fresh & ready

Sunbasket writes that it uses farm-fresh organic ingredients that a person can prepare or heat in minutes.

Individuals can order meal kits or ready meals. The company caters to a wide range of diets and has separate plans for each. People can choose two to four servings of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Prices range from around $11–14 per serving. Shipping costs $9.99.

Learn more about Sunbasket.

Our tester’s review

  • Test duration: up to a month
  • Ease of preparation: 3/5
  • Ingredients freshness: 5/5
  • Affordability: 2/5

“Out of all of the meal kits I’ve tried, Sunbasket’s ingredients tasted the freshest, especially the seafood and meats. While it isn’t cheap, I think Sunbasket offers the highest quality ingredients and most exciting flavor combinations. Plus, it has multiple menus to suit a variety of dietary needs.” — Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, Healthline Nutrition Editor II


  • Sunbasket caters to a wide range of diets with dedicated plans for each.
  • It uses fresh and organic ingredients.
  • The Diabetes-Friendly meals have approval from the American Diabetes Association.
  • People do not have to prepare the meals.


  • Meals in smaller orders are more expensive than other brands.
  • Fresh and ready and pre-prepped meals may not be available in all areas.
  • Some plastic packaging may not be recyclable.
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The table below compares each of the meal delivery service companies in this article.

Best forDietsMenu optionsPrice per mealShipping
Magic Kitchenoverall meal delivery service for older peoplediabetic
low fat
low sodium
low carb
à la carte
meal bundles
complete meals
from $12from $18.95
Home Chefself-prepared mealslow calorie
low carb
< 30min
from $9.99from $7.99–13.99
Silver Cuisinelow cost meal deliveryvegetarian
low sodium
low carb
one menu with all dietary optionsfrom $6.49$19.95
Mom’s Mealsspecial dietsdiabetes
lower sodium
cancer support
cancer support
general wellness
lower sodium
from $7.99$14.95
Snap Kitchena keto-friendly meal delivery serviceketo
low carb
high protein
premade and ready-to-eat mealsfrom $11.34free
Green Cheflarge vegetable portionsketo
low carb
high protein
fast & fit
from $11.99$9.99
The Good Kitchenbusy schedulesplant-based
low carb
no information available without an accountfrom $11$0–$6.99
Factordietitian-designed mealsketo
low calorie
high protein
chef’s choice
calorie smart
vegan & veggie
protein plus
from $10.99$9.99
low carb
fresh & ready
from $11.49$9.99

Meal delivery services offer either ready-made 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 needs.

Older adults may prefer a service that makes ordering easy and has plenty of flexibility about skipping weeks and varying the number of meals in each order.

Older people should consider the following factors when looking for a meal delivery service company:

  • Menus: Check the type of menus that companies offer. Some have ready-made meals so people may only have to heat the food, or meal kits. These come with ingredients and step-by-step instructions so customers can prepare the dish themselves.
  • Diets: A lot of companies offer foods compatible with different diets. These may include low carb, vegan, or plant-based.
  • Price: Price may vary depending on the number of servings a person opts for. There may also be an extra shipping fee.
  • Orders: Check when the meal delivery service company delivers orders and if it accepts canceling of subscriptions.

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 meals are nutritionally balanced.

Some people may offer to take home-cooked meals to friends or relatives. Also, some local community groups offer food or meal sharing.

If a person cooks, making big batches and freezing portions for later may make meal preparation easier.

Some meal delivery services cater to the dietary needs of older adults and can help people stay independent. Opting for meals that chefs and dietitians design can help ensure that the person’s diet includes all essential nutrients.

One 2021 review reports that older adults may face the following challenges that can affect their diet:

  • a change in taste and smell
  • reduced appetite
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • reduced physical activity
  • cognitive issues

Some 2020 research indicates that having a healthy diet enhances cognitive function. In addition, it may delay what the authors call “unhealthy aging.” They defined “unhealthy aging” as an accumulation of health concerns in four areas, including functional, self-rated health and vitality, mental health, and morbidity or the use of health services.

When choosing a meal delivery service, it is important to note that people with conditions affecting their cognitive health may find it difficult 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 increased risk of dehydration, and some meal delivery services provide soups, smoothies, and beverages that may help with hydration.

Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions about meal delivery services for older adults.

What is the best meal delivery service for seniors?

The best meal delivery service for older adults will depend on their dietary preferences, budget, and any health conditions they live with.

Magic Kitchen and Silver Cuisine are both good options for older people as they cater to a wide range of diets and have menus dedicated to people with certain health conditions.

Are meal delivery services worth it?

Meal delivery services are worth it if they allow people to enjoy a nutritious diet that makes preparing and eating meals regularly easy and affordable. They may not always be suitable for people with a smaller budget, but they often cater to a wide range of dietary needs.

Does Medicare cover home meals?

Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer meal delivery services coverage for older adults. This may benefit those with chronic conditions or who have received hospital treatment.

However, a person may consider discussing their options with a doctor to see if they may benefit from Medicare’s plans.

Who qualifies for Meals on Wheels Indiana?

Meals on Wheels Indiana is suitable for individuals who are recovering from a hospital stay and have difficulty socializing with others and preparing meals. The services are available for those ages 3 years and older.

Who qualifies for Meals on Wheels in Arkansas?

Meals on Wheels in Arkansas is available for people aged 60 years and older who cannot cook or go outside. The service may also suit those who live alone.

Who qualifies for Meals on Wheels in Massachusetts?

The Meals on Wheels Massachusetts website states that the program caters to older adults and those with health conditions who wish to receive nutritious meals.

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. They can also suit older people looking to explore new cuisines.

Many plans are available, and it is important to consider costs, tastes, and health and dietary needs. Some older adults may have access to meal deliveries through their health insurance provider.

Learn about Medicare and meal delivery.