As you age, following a nutritious diet is essential to reduce your chronic disease risk and maintain good health (
However, many older adults may find it difficult to prepare nutrient-dense meals themselves, which may lead to nutritional frailty — a condition characterized by loss of muscle mass and strength. This may make them more susceptible to injury and illness (
Plus, older adults who don’t have the energy or ability to shop or cook may eat more convenience foods like fast food and frozen dinners. A high intake of these processed foods may harm health and shorten life span (
That’s why healthy meal delivery services are a good option for some older adults. They deliver meals and ingredients straight to your door and are easy to prepare.
The meal delivery services on this list offer either nutritious, fully prepared meals or nutrient-packed meal kits that require little to no prep time.
Here are 7 of the best healthy meal delivery services for seniors.
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Some older adults may prefer convenient, premade meals that only require heating before they’re ready to eat.
The following companies offer tasty meals that are ready in just a few minutes.
1. Snap Kitchen
Snap Kitchen offers fully prepared meals that are perfect for older adults. The company’s meals are created by registered dietitians, ensuring that each meal offers the nutrients you need for optimal health.
Unlike many other meal delivery services, Snap Kitchen offers a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, so it’s easy to create a nutritionally complete menu. You can also add extras like hard-boiled eggs, oatmeal, soups, snacks, sides, and extra protein sources.
Meals can be refrigerated for 4–6 days or frozen and stored for future use. You simply heat them in the microwave or oven after transferring them to an oven-safe dish.
All Snap Kitchen meals are gluten-free. Furthermore, the company offers low carb and high protein meal plans, making them suitable for older adults with diabetes or those who need more protein. Its Total Custom meal plan allows you to choose from their entire menu.
It’s easy to change your order, and you can cancel your subscription at any time. Plus, you can choose a delivery day that works best for you.
Currently, Snap Kitchen only delivers to certain U.S. states. More information can be found on the website.
For customers who live within 10 miles of a Snap Kitchen retail store, the company offers a Local Plan where you choose 3-, 5-, or 7-day meal plans and pick them up at your local Snap Kitchen store.
- Meals per week: 6 or 12
- Price: the 6-meal plan starts at $11.67 per meal, and the 12-meal plan starts at $9.58 per meal
For older adults who live on their own, Freshly offers fully prepared meals that feed one person.
Its meals require no prep work or cooking and are ready to eat after heating. Meals typically last about 5 days in the fridge and can be frozen as well.
Because you don’t have to order a lot of meals at once, it’s a perfect choice for older adults who want a fully prepared dinner just a few nights per week.
All Freshly meals are certified gluten-free. The company also offers low carb and dairy- and peanut-free menus. Customers choose from a weekly menu of over 30 meals and select a delivery date and time that works for them.
You can easily change or cancel your order online.
- Meals per week: 4, 6, 10, or 12
- Price: meal plans start at $8.49 per meal
3. Magic Kitchen
Magic Kitchen caters to older adults and is a great choice for those who want a variety of meal options. The company provides fully prepared frozen meals and offers two menus — A La Carte and Complete Meals.
The A La Carte menu lets you mix and match soups, main courses, side dishes, and desserts, while the Complete Meals menu provides full meals with entrées and side dishes packaged together. You can choose as many meals as you want.
Cooking may be challenging for older adults with medical conditions like chronic kidney disease and heart failure, as well as those on dialysis, due to the dietary restrictions involved.
Notably, the Magic Kitchen menu accommodates specific diets, including low sodium, low carb, diabetes- and dialysis-friendly, vegetarian, and renal diets (for those with kidney conditions). All meals are reviewed by dietitians to ensure that they’re nutritionally complete.
The company offers a variety of meals, sides, and desserts, as well as options that serve just one person.
Most meals simply need to be heated in the microwave, but some — including the chicken pot pie — need to be cooked in an oven.
Magic Kitchen meals are delivered in a cooler with dry ice via FedEx or UPS. Keep in mind that delivery times vary depending on where you live.
- Meals per week: 7, 14, or 21
- Price: $11.70–14.00 per meal
4. Real Eats
Real Eats offers fully prepared meals in vacuum-packed bags. You either boil the bag in hot water or remove the food from the bag and microwave it.
The company sources high quality, local, and organic ingredients whenever possible.
All meals are designed to serve one person, as well as chef-created and dietitian-approved. The company offers breakfast and dinner options with optional soups, sides, snacks, and proteins.
Customers can skip, cancel, or pause their subscription at any time. However, Real Eats doesn’t offer customized delivery dates and only delivers to certain states. It requires a minimum order of 4 meals per week.
- Meals per week: 4, 6, 8, or 12 dinners, or 4, 6, 8, or 12 breakfasts and dinners
- Price: $7.99–13.99 per meal
5. Mom’s Meals
Mom’s Meals caters to older adults and specializes in fully prepared, dietitian-designed meals.
Its meal plans are suitable for older adults with medical conditions like diabetes, chronic kidney disease, cancer, and difficulty swallowing (dysphagia).
Unlike many meal delivery services, Mom’s Meals are refrigerated — not frozen — which makes them easier to prepare. Dishes are designed to last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
A significant perk is that health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid may cover all or part of the cost of Mom’s Meals under a “home-delivered meals” benefit. Contact your insurance company to learn more.
Mom’s Meals offers an affordable self-pay option as well. The company delivers to any address in the United States, including rural areas.
- Meals per week: flexible
- Price: for self-pay, starts at $6.99 per meal, with puréed, gluten-free, and renal-friendly meals starting at $7.99 per meal
Although many older adults prefer fully prepared meals, meal kit delivery services are an excellent option for those who enjoy cooking.
The following companies deliver meal kits that make delicious, healthy dishes without the hassle of grocery shopping or prep work.
6. Home Chef
Home Chef provides prepped and preportioned ingredients, many of which make meals that are ready to eat in under 30 minutes. They also make full salads, grill-ready meals, and oven-ready meals that come in an oven-safe tin and require no prep work.
Home Chef offers over 15 recipes per week and provides low carb, low calorie, and vegetarian options. Recipes vary in skill level, but most are appropriate for beginners.
Customers can choose meals that provide 2, 4, 6, or 8 servings per meal.
- Meals per week: flexible
- Price: starts at $6.99 per serving
7. Sun Basket
Sun Basket’s certified organic meal kits make a smart choice for health-conscious older adults.
You can choose from a variety of chef-designed recipes each week that take about 30 minutes to prepare. All ingredients are preportioned in eco-friendly packaging.
Sun Basket offers several meal plans, including vegetarian, Mediterranean, diabetes-friendly, gluten-free, and Lean & Clean meals, which provide around 550 calories per serving. Meal kits are available in 2- or 4-portion servings.
The company also provides a variety of snack foods and breakfast items like premade oatmeal, protein bars, nuts, jerky, nut butters, flatbreads, soups, extra protein, and veggies and dip.
You can either choose a meal plan or pick the recipes that appeal to you each week. All meal kits are cold-packed.
You can skip or cancel your order at any time. Meals can be scheduled for delivery on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Currently, Sun Basket is unavailable in Alaska, Hawaii, and parts of Montana, New Mexico, and North Dakota.
- Meals per week: flexible
- Price: starts at $10.99 per serving
When choosing a meal delivery service, it’s important for older adults to consider the type of service that works best for them.
If you don’t have a lot of energy or live with a disability that makes cooking difficult, you may prefer services offering fully prepared meals.
If you enjoy cooking, a meal kit delivery service provides ingredients to make nutritious meals without the need for shopping.
Older adults with dietary restrictions should find a meal delivery company that caters to their diets. For example, Magic Kitchen offers low sodium, as well as dialysis- and renal-friendly meals.
Additionally, those who live alone may prefer a meal service that offers fully prepared, one-person meals that can be frozen for future use.
Note that some older adults may qualify for a home-delivered meals benefit through their health insurance plans. Contact your health insurance company for more information.
When choosing a meal plan, consider your dietary restrictions and ability to cook. Plenty of meal delivery services offer recipe kits or fully prepared meals.
For older adults, a meal delivery service is a great way to ensure that healthy and tasty meals are always available.
Numerous meal delivery services offer either fully prepared meals or meal kits, and some provide specialized dietary plans.
If you have questions regarding meal delivery services or need help choosing the best meal delivery service for your needs, contact your healthcare provider or a local registered dietitian for advice.