Good nutrition is important at any age, but for seniors it becomes a priority. A well-selected diet can reduce health complaints, prevent disease, and keep you active for longer.
Unfortunately, it can be hard for seniors to access high quality food choices. Finding recipes, cooking meals, and cleaning up all becomes a struggle when dealing with the health concerns that so often come with age. Seniors can find themselves eating poorly, simply because of necessity rather than choice.
Meal delivery services are here to change that. These services are catered specifically towards seniors, and can accommodate a whole range of diets and lifestyles.
Formulated by nutritionists and chefs, these meal services manage to be both tasty and healthy. For a senior who wants to make the most of their free time, a delivery service cuts down meal prep.
We’ve put together a list of 5 of the best meal delivery services available, and a buyers guide to help you choose the right one.
Best Senior Meals Delivery Service Reviews and Buyers Guide
1. Best Overall: Silver Cuisine by BistroMD
Silver Cuisine meals are doctor designed and chef prepared, so you get the best of both worlds. Healthy meals that taste great, with care and attention taken every step along the way.
One of the major benefits of Silver Cuisine is the range of specialty diets they cater for. There are options for heart health, gluten-free, diabetic, low-sodium, low-carb, and menopause.
They also have dairy free and vegetarian options, not to mention Mediterranean meals. When you shop with Silver Cuisine you know you can get a choice that’s suited for you and your unique needs.
With over 150 meals on a rotating menu, it can be overwhelming at first – especially if you’re new to online meal delivery. However, this scale is a benefit. Having such a range to choose from keeps things interesting.
With Silver Cuisine you have the option to try something new, or fall back in love with an old favorite. Plus, the easy symbol system allows shoppers to immediately see the benefit of each meal. Once you’ve got used to filtering and scrolling, making selections becomes fun rather than a chore.
Having made a selection, Silver Cuisine takes over. They shop, cook, and deliver it straight to your door. Delivery is available across the US, except for Alaska and Hawaii unfortunately. The meals are to be kept in the freezer and heated. They stay good in the freezer for up to a year.
Silver Cuisine is specially designed and formulated for seniors. They understand the differing needs, without making a bland or patronizing service.
- Specialized diets – Silver Cuisine provides food for all types of diets, and it’s easy to navigate the system.
- Food options – There are so many meals on Silver Cuisine it might be overwhelming at first, but you’ll soon learn to appreciate it.
- Customizable choice – Every meal is hand selected by the customer.
- No meal plans – Meals have to be chosen individually, which can be time-consuming.
- Limited delivery days – They only ship on Mondays through Wednesdays.
2. Best for Across the Country: Magic Kitchen
Magic Kitchen want seniors to have access to the best food, so they can continue to enjoy mealtimes. Every meal is nutritionist improved, easy to prepare, and easy to clean up.
There are two options with Magic Kitchen: meal plans and à la carte.
With the à la carte menu, you have the option to include soups, sides, and desserts. The entrées are varied, and easily labelled to accommodate special diets. Magic Kitchens nutritionists have designed meals that are suitable for diabetics, and a renal diet, dialysis-friendly, low-carb, low-sodium, low-fat, and portion controlled.
They also have dairy-free and gluten-free options, as well as meals for vegetarians. Options on the website are easily labelled to see which meals are suitable.
The meal bundles have the same accommodations, but take out the stress of choosing. This range can cater to many types of lifestyles.
The meals are prepared fresh, cooked through, and flash frozen. This way they retain their taste and nutritional benefits.
Delivery is available across continental America, and also to Hawaii and Alaska. For the most part, all the meals can be heated in the microwave. However, a few meals are only suitable to be cooked in the oven.
- Menu bundles – Easy choices for busy carers, and seniors who prefer simple choices.
- À la carte – Flexible meal choices, to suit each individual.
- Wide delivery – Delivers to Alaska and Hawaii, unlike other services.
- Specialized diets – Diet choices to suit everyone.
- Meal choice – Some reviewers think the food is bland, comparable to supermarket choices.
3. Best for Fresh Not Frozen: Mom’s Meals
For the senior who enjoys eating their food fresh, Mom’s Meals come refrigerated rather than frozen. This makes them quicker to prepare, and fresher to eat. They even last for 14-days in the fridge, giving you plenty of time to decide what’s for dinner.
Mom’s Meals work closely with nutritionists to provide meals that are suitable for a range of health conditions. They offer heart friendly, renal friendly, and diabetes friendly meals.
As well as gluten-free and low-sodium, and meals designed for cancer support. They even have a range of puréed food, for those who suffer from dysphagia and have trouble swallowing.
Ordering with Mom’s Meals is flexible and easy. Once an order is placed, they can remind you of when the next delivery is expected. There’s also an option to auto ship, allowing you to relax knowing the food is always coming.
The meal choices are varied, and there are definite benefits to refrigerated meals over frozen. Another bonus of Mom’s Meals is the payment can be supplemented or covered by Medicare and medicaid.
- Fresh meals – None of the food is frozen, which maintains freshness.
- Specialized Diets – There’s meal plans available that cater to the needs and diets of seniors.
- Medicare and Medicaid – Mom’s Meals can be supplemented on medicare and medicaid.
- Shorter shelf life – Freezing isn’t recommended, so there’s only two weeks to eat each meal.
4. Best for Weight Loss: Diet-To-Go
Diet-To-Go is a meal delivery service that encourages weight loss via healthy eating. They understand that for many, dieting is equated with bland food and empty bellies. To change that, they’ve placed an emphasis on ingredients and flavor, while still cutting calories.
There are four menu choices with Diet-To-Go. Balance, Balance Diabetes, Keto-Carb30, and Vegetarian. Balance is the standard, and offers the largest range of meals. The Balance diet is nutritionally focused, and calorie controlled. It’s heart healthy as well, with lowered sodium, carbs, fat, and cholesterol.
The Balance Diabetes menu is designed to naturally control blood sugar. It has the same nutrition and heart health benefits as the standard balance, but optimized for those with diabetes.
Keto-Carb30 is best for those who already have an understanding of a keto diet. It’s a carb-restricted menu, where the carbohydrates are replaced with fats. For seniors thinking of trying keto, it’s recommended to speak with your doctor beforehand.
The final option is Balance Vegetarian. This has the same benefits of the standard balance, but is meat free.
With Diet-To-Go, you simply pick a menu plan. You can substitute meals you don’t like, and once the order’s placed Diet-To-Go cooks it fresh and sends it to you.
The delivery meals can be kept in the fridge for up to 7 days, and after that they need to be frozen. Diet-To-Go is a community, so they put you in touch with health care professionals and nutritionists, to assist you on your journey.
- Customizable plans – It’s easy to substitute meals to suit you.
- Community – Diet-To-Go have access to a range of nutritionists and health care providers, to guide your weight loss.
- Easy to use – Pick a menu, and you’re ready.
- Smaller portions – Weight loss is the focus, so some may feel hungry.
5. Best for Easy Use: Real Eats
Anyone living alone will know the effort cooking for one can take. This is even harder for seniors, who may not have the ability to be consistently cooking for themselves.
Real Eats take their inspiration from sous-vide style cooking, where food is sealed in a bag and heated through, to preserve freshness. All meals are delivered in a bag, which can then be heated in boiling water or removed from the bag and microwaved.
Much of the food of Real Eats is sourced from local farms, to assure quality. The customer simply selects how many meals they want delivered, picks their meals, and waits for delivery. Once delivered, the food remains fresh for seven days in the fridge. The meals can be frozen, but are best fresh.
Unfortunately, Real Eats doesn’t offer specific meal plans for seniors, or those suffering from health conditions. While much of their food is designed to be healthy, they don’t tailor to specific diets.
The appeal of Real Eats is in the ease. They’re best eaten when boiled, which takes minutes. Then there’s very little in the way of clean up. They’re also ideal for one person. An order from Real Eats is a time saver.
- Sous-vide style – Maintains freshness and taste when cooking.
- Easy to prep – These meals can be boiled for minimum clean-up.
- Local ingredients – Real Eats sources food from local farms in the Finger lakes, where their headquarters are located.
- No meal plans – Real Eats don’t cater to set diets.
- Limited delivery – While much of the US is covered by Real Eats, there are still areas they don’t deliver.
- Limited delivery dates – Delivery days are set by zip code, so there’s no choice.
Before purchasing a meal plan for yourself or others there are certain needs that must be considered.
Not every meal plan is right for everyone. You need to pick one that caters to specific needs, while also delivering on flavor.
When choosing which meal delivery, perhaps the most important factor to consider is what fits within your diet. Some services offer meals that are specifically formulated for different needs. This includes those who need renal friendly meals, meals that accommodate diabetes, and gluten-free meals.
Delivery services may offer you plans tailored to a diet, or give you the option of multiple meals, some of which are diet appropriate. It’s important to pick a meal plan that will be responsive to your needs.
It’s important to choose a service that is within your budget. This means considering the costs of individual meals, the costs of plans, and the delivery charges. You will also want to be aware of how long a service lasts for, how easy it is to cancel, and if there are any charges for cancellations.
As a senior, you may be eligible for a discount on a delivery service. Some services, such as Mom’s Meals, are covered by medicare and medicaid. It’s always worth inquiring about potential available discounts before buying.
While many delivery services are available across the continental America, this may not always be the case. Always check if delivery is available before making a decision. If you live in Alaska or Hawaii, options are limited, but Magic Kitchen delivers to both.
Delivery days will change depending on the service. Some will allow you to pick which day you want delivery, while others will set their own schedule. The regularity of the delivery must also be considered.
Some services deliver weekly, others every two weeks. Some will deliver as and when you order. Finding a delivery service that fits into your lifestyle is an important consideration.
Meal Kits vs Meal Delivery
A meal delivery service will deliver pre-prepared meals directly to your door. These meals then simply need to be reheated and eaten. Meal delivery services are incredibly low effort, and designed to fit into all lifestyles.
A meal kit service is different. These companies deliver the fresh ingredients for a meal and the recipe, and then the customer makes the meal. This is still a great option for seniors who enjoy cooking, but may struggle with the shopping. However, be sure not to order a meal kit when you want a meal delivery service.
Not every item offered is going to be appropriate or desirable. If you, or the person you’re buying for, is particular about their food, then look for flexibility.
A flexible menu will allow you to either select the meals yourself, or make substitutes for set meal plans. Some services may even allow you to substitute specific ingredients, but this is quite rare.
Number of Meals
A good meal delivery service is one that caters to your specific needs. This may mean food options that match your diet, but it also means a service that fits around your lifestyle. Not every person will need every meal delivered. While some delivery services offer daily meals, others will provide smaller amounts.
There’s also a consideration for the number of meals per day. Many consider breakfast and lunch easy to sort, but struggle with dinner. Whereas others might need or prefer to have the whole day catered.
One of the many advantages of a meal delivery service is the food generally has a long life. Frozen meals may be suitable for up to a year, and refrigerated meals can be good for two weeks in some circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should seniors use meal delivery?
For people of all ages it can be difficult to regularly make and eat nutritious meals. This becomes harder for seniors, who may also have to contend with mobility problems, vision impairments, and other health problems. Meal delivery services provide nutritious, tasty meals, with minimum effort.
Those with specific health concerns may not know how to accommodate these needs. It’s possible to find a service with meal plans designed specifically for your health concern. This removes the stress of sourcing recipes and ingredients.
Carers and family members who choose meal delivery services for a senior can relax in the knowledge that the person in their care is well-fed.
Does medicare and medicaid cover meal delivery?
While some food delivery services are covered by medicaid and medicare, Mom’s Meals for example, it isn’t true across the board. However, some services offer discounts for the elderly. It’s always best to check if you’re eligible for discounts before ordering.
Can I order meal delivery for someone else?
Yes, it’s easy to arrange a food delivery service for someone else. Meal delivery services, especially those aimed at seniors, will often have booking systems designed for use by carers.
As long as you know the requirements of the person you’re ordering for, there’s no reason you can’t order for someone else.
What are good meals for seniors?
Good meals for seniors are full of nutrients, and suitable for different dietary restrictions. The best thing is a balanced meal, with any restrictions accounted for.
Many food delivery services will provide meals designed by nutritionists to specifically suit any medical requirements.
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