Best Meal Delivery Services for Seniors

Best meal delivery services for seniors
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People with mobility concerns are the ones who, to remain active, really need all their nutrients and vitamins to keep healthy and energized throughout the day.

Nothing is better than getting a healthy, delicious meal, to boost your energy levels. For many people with mobility impairments however, this can sometimes be only a dream, especially as cooking and going grocery shopping can prove immensely challenging. They want to be independent, but not have the stress of trying to put together meals, to set them up for the day.

This is why meal delivery services are the way to compromise and have stress free healthy and delicious food delivered directly to your door, without the need to leave home.

Whether you’re looking for ready-meals that you can simply reheat, or you’re looking for meal kits that you can quickly cook, there’s a meal delivery service out there for everyone. In this article, we will cover the important factors to consider when choosing a meal delivery service. We will also review some of the best ones that offer nutritious and tasty meals that are easy to prepare, and are suitable for seniors.

Contents

Best Meal Delivery Services Comparison Chart

Here’s a handy reference list of our reviewed meal delivery services. Further below is a more comprehensive comparison and review guide.

Silver Cuisine by bistroMD Magic Kitchen HomeBistro HelloFresh Martha & Marley Spoon
Cost Per Serving (Mains) $8.99 – $13.99 $11.00 – $13.00 $19.99 and $28.99 $7.49 – $8.99 $7.89 – $10.25
Meals Available Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks Lunch, dinner Lunch, dinner Lunch, dinner
Minimum Order No minimum order qty No minimum order qty No minimum order qty Subscription (minimum 2 people / 3 recipes per week) Subscription (minimum 2 people / 2 recipes per week)
Dietary Options * Heart-healthy
* Gluten-free
* Diabetic-friendly
* Low-sodium
* Low-carb
* Menopause
* Dairy-free
* Mediterranean
* Vegetarian
* Dairy-free
* Low-sodium
* Low-carb
* Diabetic-friendly
* Vegetarian
* Dialysis-friendly
* Renal-friendly
* Gluten-free (not certified)
* Heart-healthy
* Diabetic-friendly
* Vegetarian
* Low-carb
* Mediterranean
* Vegetarian
* Low-calorie
* Family-friendly
* Vegetarian
* Vegan
* Low-calorie
* Dairy-free
* Family-friendly
* 30 minute meals
* Meat & fish
Shipping Costs $19.95 95 (free shipping on orders over $99) Shipping fees depend on location, service selected and weight of order Shipping fees depend on order costs (fees start at $15) $7.99 $8.99
Delivery Continental U.S. (except Alaska, Hawaii) Continental U.S. Continental U.S. (except Alaska, Hawaii) Continental U.S. (except Alaska, Hawaii) Continental U.S. (except Alaska, Hawaii)
Learn More Try Silver Cuisine Try Magic Kitchen Try HomeBistro Try HelloFresh Try Martha & Marley Spoon

What are Meal Delivery Services?

Meal delivery services for seniors

They are subscription type services that deliver meals straight to your door that you can order online, helping to save the hassle of having to go grocery shopping. Some meal delivery service companies will deliver fully prepared meals that you need to reheat, it avoids the need for any cooking. Other companies, on the other hand, will deliver meal kits that have all the ingredients to make a particular dish. To create the dish, you simply need to follow the instructions listed on the recipe card to create a quick and tasty meal.

Using a meal delivery service is easy and straightforward. Peruse the meal plan choices for the upcoming week on the company’s website, and select your preferred options. Next, decide on the number of meals that you require, and choose a suitable delivery date. On that particular day, your meals will be delivered directly to your home. Most will allow you to pause or cancel your subscription at any time. This means they can be used on a temporary or on-going basis, depending on your particular circumstances and needs.

Many meal delivery services work with nutritionists to come up with healthy, balanced, and nutritious meals. Some will also create dishes that are suited for users that have particular dietary needs and requirements.

Benefits of Meal Delivery Services for Seniors

Meal delivery kits

While meal delivery services are suitable for all age groups, they are particularly suited for seniors. Here are some of the major benefits for seniors:

Convenience & Increased Independence

Often mobility impairments, and other types of disabilities can mean prepping and cooking food can prove particularly challenging for seniors. Conditions such as arthritis can affect someone’s dexterity, limiting their ability to chop food as well as lift heavy pots and pans. Going grocery shopping can also be a real struggle. This means they may have to rely on the assistance of a caregiver or loved one to purchase their weekly shopping for them.

Having fully-prepared meals delivered directly to home, can reduce the need to leave the house in order to go food shopping. It also means less prepping and cooking. Importantly it also reduces the amount of washing up afterwards. This not only increases someone’s independence as they do not need to rely on others. It also means they get more time to socialize with their friends and family and enjoy their favorite pastimes, instead of spending all their time in the kitchen.

Healthy & Nutritious Meals

Ensuring seniors have a healthy and balanced diet is vital for both their physical and mental wellbeing. Eating nutritious meals can help to prevent or delay the onset of age-related conditions such as cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease. It can be particularly beneficial for bone health as well.

Worrying whether your elderly parents are getting the right nutrition is a common problem, especially if they are unable to cook and have to rely on unhealthy processed ready meals that are high in fat, instead of healthier home-cooked meals. Malnutrition amongst the elder population is a big problem. It is estimated that up to 5.5 million seniors in the U.S. do not have regular access to sufficient food for a healthy life.

Most meal delivery programs ensure that they offer a wide array of healthy dishes. Many work with nutritionists, who ensure each meal that is developed is well-balanced and nutritious. All dishes come with their relevant nutritional information clearly displayed. This allows you to check the total fat, carbohydrates, and other key nutritional information beforehand, to see if the meal is right for you.

Many meal delivery programs also create dishes suited for those with particular food intolerances, and those who require specialty diets (gluten-free, diabetic, low sodium, heart-healthy, vegetarian, dairy-free, etc). This ensures that even users with complex nutritional needs can still eat healthily, whatever their condition and needs are.

Portion Control & Reduces Waste

Food waste is a major problem, just in the U.S. alone, 80 billion lbs of food is thrown away each year.

This can be a particular problem amongst seniors. Not only do many seniors live alone, but as we age, our appetite can decrease also. This often means that food needs to be thrown away if it cannot be used in time. Using a meal delivery service can help to eliminate the amount of food waste, as each dish is pre-portioned, so waste is kept to a minimum.    

Improves Safety

Mobility issues, disabilities can make working in the kitchen both hazardous and dangerous.  

For those with limited dexterity, chopping food may be challenging, and it may lead to cuts and handling hot pans can result in burns. For those who are unsteady on their feet, trying to retrieve an item from a cupboard can result in a fall. Cognitive impairments can cause a person to forget that they have left something on the stove, which can result in a fire.

Using a meal delivery service can help to eliminate such hazards around the kitchen, as it minimizes the amount of prepping and cooking the person needs to do.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Meal Delivery Service

Hellofresh meal kits for seniors

There is a wide variety of meal delivery services to suit all tastes and budgets. Some companies are aimed at the seniors who prefer not to cook, or unable to, and may have particular dietary requirements and allergies. Others are targeted at the more adventurous chef who enjoys cooking, but would rather not have to go grocery shopping.

When considering the best senior delivery service, you may want to consider the following factors:

Dietary Requirements

If you have a specific dietary requirement or allergy, you should first check whether they can cater to your specific needs. If you need a specialty diet, such as meals low in sodium, diabetic-friendly, or heart-healthy, make sure there is a good range of options that you can choose from. Most will allow you to view a sample menu online before signing-up. Check first to see what options are available to you.

Many meal delivery programs will work with nutritionists and dietitians to ensure that they come up with a range of dishes to suit users with particular dietary needs and requirements such as:

  • Those with chronic health conditions (diabetes, cardiovascular, cancer, etc.),
  • Anyone with food intolerances or allergies (dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, etc.),
  • Users following particular life-style choices (vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, keto, paleo, etc.)
  • Those who need to follow strict dietary regulations due to religious reasons (kosher etc.)

For those with particularly serious food allergies, always check that their meals are prepared at facilities that are certified allergen-free, to avoid any cross-contamination. Most will clearly state whether they are certified allergen-free or not on their website, so it’s advisable to check.

Frequency & Subscription

You should consider how many daily meals you require and the frequency of them? Do you need to order one meal per day (lunch or dinner), or are you looking to receive three daily meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)? Depending on the meal delivery service, some will offer options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as well as snacks. While others will be more limited and will only provide options for lunch or dinner.

Most meal delivery services work on a subscription type model. This means you are tied into a weekly or monthly subscription plan, and you agree to order a minimum number of meals within that period.

A good meal delivery service should be as flexible, allowing you to skip a week or pause or cancel your subscription at any time. If for example, you’re going on a last-minute vacation, you should be able to easily pause your meal subscription without getting penalized for any changes. Always check the terms and conditions before signing up to check how easy it is to change or cancel your subscription at any time that you need.

While most work on a subscription model, some meal delivery plans such as Silver Cuisine by bistroMD and Magic Kitchen do not have subscription plans. This provides the customer with increased flexibility and less commitments. These types of services offer you full control as to how many meals you want to order, and how often, allowing you to use them on an ongoing or one-off basis as needed.

Budget

Generally, most meal delivery programs charge between $7 to $13 per person for a main dish, while breakfast usually costs less than $6. Don’t forget to also factor in shipping costs. Depending on the service, some will offer free shipping as long as you meet the minimum order quantity. While others will charge a fee depending on the weight of the order and the distance from the warehouse. Other services will charge a flat fee, irrelevant of how many dishes you order.

When budgeting, consider how many dishes you will require per week, and include any shipping fees if they apply. Dishes will often be cheaper, the greater the quantity you order, although this will depend on the meal service used. If you’re on a strict budget, always shop around. There is a large selection of meal delivery services available that are suitable for all budgets (see our meal service reviews below).

Availability

Always check that the meal delivery service can deliver to your state. While most are able to deliver to continental US, enter your zip code into the company’s website to confirm whether they are able to deliver to your home address.

Fully-Prepared Meals or Meal Kits?

Meal delivery services generally consist of two types. Ones that create fully-prepared meals, and others that create meal kits.

Fully-prepared meals are ideal for those who find cooking a struggle or simply don’t enjoy it. These dishes take all the hassle out of cooking. To prepare a dish, you remove the container out of the refrigerator or freezer, and pop it into the oven or microwave, and cook it as indicated on the cooking instructions. No prepping is required, and there’s no need to stand over a stove, it also reduces the amount of washing up afterwards.

A meal kit is a better option for those who enjoy cooking and want to be a bit more creative in the kitchen, but don’t like the idea of having to carry heavy grocery bags back from the supermarket. The recipient receives a meal kit box with all the ingredients to make a particular dish. To create it, you follow the step-by-step instructions printed on the included recipe card. Most dishes are simple and quick to create and require minimal prepping and cooking.

Hello Fresh meal kits

Best Meal Delivery Services for Seniors

Best for Picky Eaters

Silver Cuisine by bistroMD ready meals for seniors

Silver Cuisine by bistroMD was founded by practicing bariatric physician Dr. Caroline Cederquist. Silver Cuisine creates ready-prepared meals that simply need to be reheated, and which are specifically designed for the over 50’s. Each dish has been formulated to ensure it is both tasty and nutritious, so it provides the right vitamins that are essential for healthy senior living.

Silver Cuisine caters for a number of different dietary requirements, anywhere from low-sodium, heart-healthy, diabetic-friendly to dairy-free meals are all available.

Each week there is a choice of up to 150 dishes to choose from. So no matter how fussy an eater you are, you’ll be sure to find a number of dishes that you will enjoy. Ordering dishes from Silver Cuisine is straightforward. The website is easy to use, you can filter dishes by meal type (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) as well as by specialty diets allowing you to quickly locate dishes that are suitable for your particular needs. Lunches and dinners are reasonably priced, and range from $8.99 up to $13.99, and breakfasts are priced under $7.99. There’s also a choice of weekly specials with up to 30% off.

One of the advantages of Silver Cuisine, is there is no subscription, so you’re not tied into any contract. This means you can order as little, or as much as you like, whenever you want. For orders over $99, shipping is free, below this amount, there is a charge of $19.95.

Orders are dispatched by FedEx in insulated coolers using packed dry ice to ensure meals remain frozen until they reach you. Once you receive your order, pop the dishes into the freezer, and they will remain fresh for up to one year after production.

Cost: $8.99 – $13.99 per serving (No subscription and no minimum order quantity)

Dietary options: Heart-healthy, gluten-free, diabetic-friendly, low-sodium, low-carb, menopause, dairy-free, Mediterranean, vegetarian

Meal options per week: 150

Sample meals:

  • Chicken meatballs with lentils and spiced tomato sauce
  • Lasagna with garden marinara
  • Beef and vegetable stew with burgundy wine
  • Grilled salmon with lemon Dijon dressing

Shipping: Continental U.S. (except Alaska, Hawaii) / $19.95 flat shipping fee (free shipping on orders over $99)

Best for Seniors with Specific Dietary Requirements

Magic Kitchen

If you’re looking for a meal delivery service that has no contracts and offers a varied selection of tasty and nutritious meals, you may want to consider Magic Kitchen.

All Magic Kitchen’s meals are fully-cooked and are flash-frozen to preserve their flavors and vitamins. Their dishes just need to be re-heated, so they can be prepared in literally minutes. Perfect for seniors who prefer not have to spend too much time in the kitchen.

Magic Kitchen offers two types of menus. An “A La Carte” and a “Complete Meals” menu. The “A La Carte” menu allows you to choose individual dishes including soups, sides, mains, and desserts so you can fully customize your meals. The “Complete Meals” menu consists of a main course and either one or two side dishes and typically costs $12 – $14 per serving.

There’s also are a wide variety of specialty dishes for different dietary needs that have been devised by their dietitians and nutritionists. These include diabetic-friendly, dialysis-friendly, dairy-free, low-fat, low sodium, senior diet, and many others, so the majority of needs have been fully catered for.

For those who would prefer to receive meals on a recurring basis, there’s an auto-ship meal program available. This allows you to receive meals either weekly, every two weeks, or monthly thus saving you the hassle of having to reorder meals each time. If for example, you’re looking to order one complete meal for a week (either breakfast, lunch, or dinner) this will cost $82 to $90.

Meals can be ordered using their site, or through email, and for the more tech adverse, orders can also be placed over the phone. If you’re looking for detailed information about any dish, simply click on the particular meal on the website, and the ingredients, nutritional information, cooking instructions, and customer reviews are clearly displayed.

Orders can be shipped anywhere within Continental U.S, and the shipping fees will vary depending on your location, the weight of the order, and the service selected.

For first time customers, click here to get 10% off your next order and use the promo code MEALD at the checkout.

Cost: $11.00 – $13.00 per serving (No minimum order qty)

Dietary options: Dairy-free, low-sodium, low-carb, diabetic-friendly, vegetarian, dialysis-friendly, renal-friendly, gluten-free (not certified)

Sample meals:

  • Basil Chicken with Rice & Zucchini Saute
  • BBQ Pork Riblets & Honey BBQ Sauce, Green Pea Blend and Autumn Blend
  • Beef Bourguignon, Brown Rice & Broccoli
  • Breaded Fish with Coconut Curry Rice, Three Seasons Blend & Broccoli

Shipping: Continental U.S / Shipping fees vary depending on location, service selected and order weight

Best for Easy to Cook Gourmet Meals

Homebistro

HomeBistro is perfect for those looking for high-quality gourmet meals that can be delivered straight to your door, that are easy to cook, and which can be prepared in under 10 minutes.

They aim to create healthy dishes that are freshly prepared using natural ingredients. All dishes are flash-frozen to help preserve their full freshness and taste. Their dishes can quickly be reheated, and due to the fact each dish comes in a boilable microwavable bag, they are designed not to lose their flavors during the cooking process, ensuring meals are always tasty.

HomeBistro only supplies lunch and dinner meals so the program is more suited to seniors simply looking for assistance with main meals. There is a range of dietary options to choose from including vegetarian, heart-healthy, paleo, Mediterranean, and diabetic-friendly dishes.

You’re not tied into any contract with HomeBistro as there’s no subscription. There’s a choice of over 30 individual meals that you can opt for, with prices ranging from $17.99 to $28.99. There is also a choice of up to 17 meal combo options available, where you can order anywhere from 6 up to 20 meals in one go with prices starting from $101.99.

Orders can be shipped to Continental U.S. except Alaska and Hawaii, and shipping fees vary depending on the cost of the order, with prices starting at $15.

Cost: $19.99 and $28.99 per serving (one-time purchase or subscription available)

Dietary options: Heart-healthy, diabetic-friendly, vegetarian, weight loss, low-carb, Mediterranean

Sample meals:

  • Hanger Steak with Romesco Sauce
  • Chargrilled Salmon and Honey Roasted Carrots
  • Romano Pork Medallions and Zaatar Fries
  • Chianti Braised Short Ribs & Ratatouille

Shipping: Continental U.S. (except Alaska, Hawaii) / shipping fees depend on order costs (fees start at $15)

Best for Seniors who Enjoy Cooking

HelloFresh meal kits

For those who enjoy cooking but do not like the idea of having to carry grocery bags back from the shops, or having to remember to restock the fridge when you run out of ingredients, you may want to try HelloFresh.

HelloFresh is one of the biggest and most popular meal delivery service kit companies. With HelloFresh, you will receive all the fresh ingredients to make tasty and healthy dishes. Follow the instructions on the recipe card, and you will be able to prep and cook the dish in less than 30 mins. You don’t require any special cooking equipment, just the basics (post, pans, strainer, knives etc).

HelloFresh is a subscription type service, you can pause or skip a week whenever you require without any hassle, and you can also easily cancel. Meal kits are available for either 2 or 4 people, and they start from $7.49 per serving, you must order at least 3 recipes per week.

Using HelloFresh is extremely straightforward, choose your meal plan which can include meat & veggies, veggie, family-friendly, or low calorie (around 650 calories). Then choose the number of people (2 or 4 people), and decide whether you want to receive 3, 4, or 5 recurring meals per week. You will then be shown a choice of 20 different dishes that you can choose from which changes every week and ranges from Asian, Italian, Mexican, French-inspired meals. There is a $7.99 flat shipping fee and orders can be shipped anywhere within continental U.S. except Alaska and Hawaii.

The recipe cards are easy to follow and precise, and have step-by-step instructions, as well as photos that you can easily follow. This is perfect for those who have minimal cooking experience. The ingredients are correctly portioned for the specific number of people, which cuts down on waste. Any prep work that is required, is kept to a minimum, and this often involves just chopping or slicing.

Cost: $7.49 – $8.99 per serving (subscription (minimum 2 people / 3 recipes per week))

Dietary options: Vegetarian, low-calorie, family-friendly

Meal options per week: 20

Sample meals:

  • Thai Style Pork Rice Bowl with Green Beans, Coriander and Rice
  • Lamb Linguine with Courgette
  • Veggie Tostadas with Roasted Peppers and Zesty Crema
  • Hoisin Sticky Baked Chicken Thighs with Roasted Broccoli and Red Onion

Shipping: Continental U.S. (except Alaska, Hawaii) / $7.99 flat shipping fee

Best for the Adventurous Cook

Martha & Marley Spoon meal kit

Are you an avid fan of Martha Stewart, but due to your culinary skills not being up to par, you have been scared to recreate some of her fabulous recipes at home? If that’s the case, don’t worry, you can now unleash your true inner domestic goodness with Marley Spoon. Marley Spoon, the meal kit delivery company has partnered with Martha Stewart to bring you a weekly selection of dishes from her extensive recipe repertoire.

Each week you’ll receive a meal kit delivered to your doorstep with pre-portioned seasonal produce, allowing you to create fast and flavorsome dishes. It takes all the hassle of preparing and planning for meals. Importantly, it also means you don’t have to go shopping, perfect for those with mobility impairments or disabilities who are unable to go food shopping.

Marley & Spoon take great pride in only selecting produce suppliers that meet their stringent quality standards. All producers are vetted first, thus ensuring you only receive the best quality and sustainable ingredients.

Using Martha & Marley Spoon is easy. First, select whether you want a meal kit for 2 or 4 people, and then choose the number of meals you require per week (2 up to 6 meals). You then select from a range of different categories including, vegetarian & vegan, meat & fish, health & diet, family-friendly, and under 30-minute meals.

There’s a choice of 22 different dishes to choose from every week. There is always something new to try, perfect for the more adventurous foody. 10 days before your delivery, you will receive an email with your meal choices that you can choose from.

A 5-day meal kit for 2 people will cost $8.29 per portion ($91.89 + $8.99 shipping fee), while a 5-day meal kit for 4 people will cost $6.79 ($144.79 + $8.99 shipping fee).

Nutritionists ensure that each recipe is balanced and healthy, and each dish is thoroughly tested to ensure it is both delicious and simple to recreate. Each meal kit comes with it’s easy to follow recipe card that contains no more than 6-steps, with helpful photos to help guide you. Key nutritional information is printed on each recipe card, so you know how many calories each dish contains.

The subscription is flexible. If you want to pause your subscription or skip a week, you can do so easily. You can also schedule this up to 7 weeks in advance. There’s an $8.99 flat shipping fee, and orders are dispatched nationwide except Hawaii and Alaska.

Cost: $7.89 – $10.25 per serving (subscription (minimum 2 people / 2 recipes per week))

Dietary options: Vegetarian, vegan, low-calorie, dairy-free, family-friendly, 30 minute meals, meat & fish

Meal options per week: 22

Sample meals:

  • Honey-Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Apricots & Broccolini
  • Crispy Chicken Thighs & Rice with Peas & Arugula Salad
  • BBQ Glazed Pork Chops with Quick Baked Beans & Tomato Salad
  • Cheese Tortelloni Marinara with Garlic Butter Breadcrumbs & Tossed Salad

Shipping: Continental U.S. (except Alaska, Hawaii) / $8.99 flat shipping fee

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Jackie

Jackie

Jackie is a passionate advocate for keeping people with all types of mobility problems active. After suffering complications after a knee replacement she knew that she wanted to remain as active as before her numerous operations. Her passion is to advise others on how to be able to lead a fulfilling and independent life no matter what disability they may have.

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