The Best Meal Delivery for Seniors

Our experts share the ins-and-outs of the best meal delivery services for seniors. Here’s how to eat delicious and nutritious on any budget.

Best Senior Meal Delivery Service in 2021

While good nutrition matters at any age, it becomes more important in your later years. A healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole-grain starches helps provide you with essential nutrients that fuel your overall health.

With that said, staying healthy and eating well aren’t always easy for seniors. Caregivers may find themselves responsible for food shopping and preparation, adding additional struggle to their other duties.

Especially in the age of COVID-19, venturing to the grocery store can pose risks of viral exposure. Now, more than ever, a meal delivery service can really come in handy.

We provide tips on how to find the best meal delivery for seniors.

What Should Seniors Look For In A Meal Delivery Service?

Knowing what you need from your meal delivery service makes it easier to choose the best one for you. Here are some things we recommend you consider:

The Best Meal Delivery Services For Seniors

We’ve done some research, so you don’t have to! Here is our roundup of the best meal delivery services out there for seniors.

1. Freshology - Best Overall Meal Delivery

Freshology meals for seniors
4.6 / 5
See Pricing
What We Like Most:
  • Quick meal preparation
  • Flexible meal plans
  • Access to health coaching
  • Nutrient-rich and portion-controlled

Overview

Freshology makes it much easier to eat a healthy diet. Their menus are designed to be nutritious, delicious, and easy to prepare. Each dietician-designed meal comes packed and ready to heat and eat. You can manage your account online easily, and you’re welcome to change plans or pause and restart your service whenever you like.

Cost: A typical plan of two meals a day, five days a week, costs around $12.20 per meal.

Diets: Freshology customers can choose from four plans. Balance is a heart-healthy, calorie-controlled plan that offers balanced nutrition for people of any age. Vegetarian and no-seafood options are also available. Diabetes is designed to make it easier to manage diabetes by providing heart-healthy options that are also designed to keep blood sugar in check. Keto-Carb30 was designed for those who prefer a low-carb option that’s fully keto-friendly. Finally, Freshology offers a vegetarian option that eliminates meat in favor of beans, pulses, dairy, and soy.

Ordering: Start by entering your zip code to find out if delivery is available in your area. Then simply pick your plan and how many meals you want to be delivered. The site will let you know how many days your delivery will take to arrive.

Delivery: It depends on your location. When you enter your zip code, you’ll see your delivery options. Some locations also offer a free pick-up option.

Pros
  • Great healthy options
  • Diabetes and vegetarian options
  • Flexible meal planning
  • Straightforward ordering
Cons
  • A somewhat limited food selection
  • Delivery fees vary by location

Freshology is ideal for those who are concerned with eating healthily. What’s more, there’s hardly any preparation required. Just heat your meals and enjoy nutritious and delicious food.

2. Diet-to-Go - Best Healthy Meal Delivery

diettogo
4.5 / 5
See Pricing
What We Like Most:
  • No long-term contracts
  • Portion-controlled meals
  • Free access to health coach
  • Vegetarian and seafood-free options

Overview

Diet-To-Go is all about healthy eating. Their meal delivery service makes it easy to enjoy meals that can help with weight management — all straight to your door! Their meals are portion-controlled to help support getting to and staying at a healthy weight. Customers also get free access to a health coach via phone or email for ongoing support. You can pause and resume the service at any time.

Cost: A typical plan of two meals a day, five days a week, costs around $12.20 per meal.

Diets: Diet-To-Go offers four main plans, with some flexibility to choose your favorite meals or swap plans as you go. Balance is a weight control diet that’s heart-healthy and low sodium, with controlled fat, sodium, carbs, and cholesterol. Vegetarian and no seafood options are also available. Balance Diabetes offers the same heart-healthy nutrition as Balance, with an extra emphasis on controlling blood sugar. Keto-Carb30 is designed for those who are trying to control carbs and includes meat, cheese, and eggs. Finally, Vegetarian offers all the nutrition of Balance, but with protein from eggs, dairy, beans, and a little soy, instead of meat or seafood.

Ordering: Enter your zip code to check the availability of delivery, then choose your preferred menu and how many meals you would like. There are options for five days or seven days and two or three meals daily.

Delivery: Delivery days and prices vary depending on your location. Enter your zip code on the site to see your options. Some areas also offer a pick-up location so you can pick your food up (or ask someone to get it for you), to save on delivery costs.

Pros
  • Great for weight loss
  • An interesting assortment of foods
  • Blood sugar conscious options
  • Easy-to-customize meal plans
Cons
  • Smaller-than-average portions
  • $20 per week delivery fees

Diet-To-Go makes it easier to look after your weight and health, and their chef-chosen menus make it simple to decide what to eat. Great for the health-conscious eater, their meals are delivered fresh to your door, and all you need to do is heat them up.

3. Silver Cuisine - Best Weekly Specials

SilverCuisine
4.4 / 5
See Pricing
What We Like Most:
  • Easy ordering
  • No minimum purchase
  • Senior-specific meal plans
  • Wide range of dietary options

Overview

Silver Cuisine is a meal delivery service designed specifically for older adults. Rich in nutrients, their meals are created to offer balance for those aged 50 and over.

Cost: Expect to pay around $9 for breakfast and $12 for a lunch or main course.

Diets: Silver Cuisine offers meals for several specialty diets. Customers can choose from gluten-free, low carb, low sodium, heart-healthy, diabetic, menopause-friendly, dairy-free, vegetarian, or Mediterranean-inspired.

Ordering: Choose the meals you’d like online, or call to place an order. There is no subscription required, and meals can be ordered in an on-demand fashion.

Delivery: Orders are shipped Monday through Wednesday and arrive in two-five business days, depending on your location. Shipping is $19.95 for all orders.

Pros
  • No contracts
  • Senior-specific
  • No minimum orders
  • AARP discounts
Cons
  • Restricted shipping days
  • Flat shipping fee of $19.95 on every order

If you’re looking for a flexible meal delivery service made with seniors in mind, Silver Cuisine might just be the one for you. Your order is fully customizable with lots of different dietary options, and there are over 150 different meals and snacks available.

4. Magic Kitchen - Best No Contract

Magic Kitchen
4.4 / 5
See Pricing
What We Like Most:
  • Restaurant-quality products
  • Fresh, flash-frozen meals
  • Choose from a la carte and meal bundles
  • Ships to Hawaii and Alaska

Overview

Magic Kitchen offers a wide variety of nutritious meals free of artificial preservatives. Customers can choose from an a la carte menu, which means you can mix and match as you please, or you can choose from complete meal bundles which include main dishes and sides. Customers can also set up a meal plan –– one you can start and stop at any time –– to get regular deliveries. Magic Kitchen will choose your meal plan menu based on your preferences.

Cost: Expect to pay around $9-$12 for breakfast and $13-$16 for the main course. Please note that many options are sold in two-serving pairs, so in reality, you pay around $30 for each main course ordered. According to their site, customers on a meal plan can expect to pay around $246 to $275 every seven days, for three meals a day.

Diets: Magic Kitchen caters to diabetic, dairy-free, gluten-free, low carb, low fat, low sodium, and vegetarian diets, and they also offer Weight Watchers-compatible options. They also offer a senior-specific meal plan designed to provide the right nutrition to older adults.

Ordering: With Magic Kitchen, you can order online, by phone, or via email.

Delivery: Shipping costs are determined by the weight of your order and your location. Packages generally arrive within four business days, but customers can opt for a FedEx air delivery option for quicker service. You can also select your exact delivery date if you prefer.

Pros
  • Wide range of special diets
  • Options specifically for seniors
  • Flexible ordering and shipping options
  • Incredibly tasty food options
Cons
  • No vegan menu
  • No salt-free meals available (low sodium is available)

Magic Kitchen offers a wide range of meals to suit different dietary needs, with flexible ordering and shipping.

Meal Delivery Service: Would it Work for Your Loved One?

Having meals delivered makes life easier for seniors and their caregivers and ensures seniors get a good, balanced diet. When preparing to age in place, you should look into signing up for a meal delivery service, helping you avoid malnutrition or comparably costly takeout.

There are many senior meal delivery options, but most fall into two main categories: ready-to-cook and ready-to-heat. Let’s compare them.

Which Type Of Senior Meal Delivery Service Is Best?
Caregivers may struggle to keep loved ones healthy if they are doing all the shopping and cooking. © Can Stock Photo/photography33

Ready To Cook: Meal Kits

Ready-to-cook services, also known as meal kits, send out packages of fresh, tasty ingredients with instructions on how to turn them into a delicious meal. Meal kit services offer an alternative to the more typical senior meal delivery companies that deliver pre-cooked meals.

Some popular meal kit options that cater to older adults include Diet-to-Go, Silver Cuisine, Magic Kitchen, Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Green Chef, and Plated. Once an account is opened, these services send out all the ingredients to make meals, along with recipe cards explaining what to do.

These services are ideal for seniors who are still independent, active, and well enough to enjoy cooking daily meals or for those who live with a partner or roommate who is healthy and active enough to cook on a daily basis. Meal kits are also great for seniors who have no issue cooking but find getting groceries a challenge. Everything they need comes right to them.

FYI:Elder co-housing is a growing trend that makes it safer to continue living in one’s own home.

With that said, meal kits still involve a certain amount of cooking and prep, so they’re not ideal for seniors who struggle with cooking. Most meal kit options only cover three or four meals in a week, so they’re not suitable for seniors who need every meal taken care of.

Ready To Heat: Meal Delivery

Ready-to-heat meal delivery services offer pre-prepped meals that are ready to go in the oven or microwave. Fresh and healthy delivered meals take the stress out of grocery shopping, meal prep, and cooking, taking a lot of pressure off both seniors and caregivers.

Many of these services are designed especially for seniors or offer senior options on their website. Popular choices include Fresh ‘n Lean, Martha’s Senior Gourmet, and Healthy Chef Creations. Most services also cater to different dietary needs or have specific programs that focus on nutrition, weight loss, or other specific dietary goals.

Once an account is created, you select how many meals per day you want to be delivered (most services can cover all three meals, plus snacks), and the meals are shipped out once or twice a week. Some need to be kept refrigerated, while others need to be kept frozen. Then it’s simply a case of heat up the delivered meals, and enjoy!

These services are ideal for seniors who find it difficult to shop and cook, and who might not be safe in the kitchen, or simply are not able to source and prepare a properly balanced diet without help. Ready to heat senior meal delivery means they can have every meal covered if needed, with no stress or fuss.

Gift-Giving: Ready-to-heat meal plans are one of my favorite gifts to purchase for clients. Just about anyone can appreciate the gift of chef-prepared meals delivered to their door.

These types of services may not suit seniors who still enjoy cooking and shopping. Additionally, these services will be a bit more expensive than meal kits or shopping for groceries on your own.

Why Should Seniors Use Meal Delivery?

Many seniors struggle to cook healthy meals for themselves. There are a host of challenges associated with meal planning and preparation. Getting to the grocery store or carrying groceries home is difficult for people with mobility issues. Additionally, food preparation is challenging for seniors who struggle with issues such as vision or balance problems or arthritic hands.

As a result of these challenges, it’s not always easy for seniors to eat regular, healthy meals. This is a cause for concern among careers who want to be sure their senior eats well but don’t have the time and resources to see all their meals.

For many, a senior meal delivery service is the answer to these problems.

Written By
Amie Clark

Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here

33 Comments

  1. I am a 71 year old retiree. Other than a puppy and four parrots, I live alone. I hate to cook. I recently discovered Freshly. I have not had a meal I would not order again since I started with the service. The food is fully cooked and never frozen. All you need to do is pop it in the microwave to heat. There are many food choices when ordering the food. I highly recommend this service. Be sure to check out any discounts!
  2. I dont need Meals on Wheels, but also can’t pay $30 per meal. Why isn’t there anything in between that’s more practical? Better to buy frozen entrees or dinners from the grocery, but then you have to buy other items to go with it. No real answers for retired seniors on limited budgets.
  3. I am a widow of 72. I don’t need breakfast or lunch but would like some interesting dinner options, frozen, to have on hand. I’ve had bouts of back issues when everything was too hard. I’m now used to have groceries delivered/covid and they’ve closed my neighborhood store..:( Not disabled; just bored with the things I cooked for my family and what’s become my standard fare. Perhaps I should find a personal chef..
  4. I still do my own grocery shopping. I cook my meals, I am 88 year old widow, would like recipes for lunch and dinners for one, I do breakfast just fine. any idea’s?
  5. I can still cook and have someone do my shopping for me. I don’t like to cook and I’m not good at it. I order from the restaurant delivery services but they cost more than the meal plans and really aren’t healthy. So I’ve been looking at meal delivery plans for years. I have yet to find a perfect plan for me; not even a good one really. I won’t use a plan that requires me to buy 10 meals a week. The supposed lower cost per meal isn’t a selling point. I won’t use a plan that requires my personal information in order to look at the offerings I only eat two meals a day. I’m diabetic, have congestive heart failure and mild kidney disease. I realize that’s a lot to balance. I wish the meals were a couple of ounces or 100 calories more. The only thing the plans would like about me is I will eat almost anything. I really appreciate this article because it does contain good information. I think I’ll try at least one of them.
    1. Thank you for the feedback! I agree that they aren’t ideal for every situation and you may need to try several meal delivery services before you find the right fit for you. If you find one that fits your requirements, please let us know! Best, Amie
  6. What I find very upsetting is when you go on these websites you are required to give your personal information, usually including payment information BEFORE you can even browse the menu to see if you’re interested in purchasing the meals! That’s like walking into a store and having to give your credit card before you can shop! VERY UPSETTING! and I don’t do it so I have no idea if I’d be interested in their program. The only one of those you mentioned in this article that let me look first is Silver Cuisine. That’s good and fair marketing! Actually, I didn’t look at Magic Kitchen, as I have used them before and they were just ok. Still look for something I like better.
  7. Can’t you do Meals On Wheels? Even if you do not qualify for free meals, it only costs $2.00 per meal. It is only lunch, but they are hardy.. The best part is that you get a hello from someone when they deliver.
    1. How do you get Meals On Wheels for $2.00 per meal? My mother pays $6.25 per meal and sometimes it is just a hotdog and soggy French fries.
  8. Excellent article, but I wish it included information regarding each plan’s insurance-acceptance policy.
  9. Hello. I need a plan that supplies organic foods without antibiotics and hormones, minimal preparation and affordable price. Is there such a plan?
  10. You know it’s really sad that this service is so expensive. I don’t know any seniors that can afford up of $30 per meal. It is an absolute shame that if they cook it themselves it cost about $4 per meal but let someone else cook it for you and your going to pay $30. My parents are elderly and my mom just isn’t able to cook much any more due to her bones dying and being in so much pain especially standing for any length of time and walking is very painful for her as well because one of the dead bones is her hip. I wanted to see if I could get them something so they have good food instead of fast food everyday but not at these kind of prices for already prepared food. They send her a weeks worth of food every time she comes out of the hospital and she’s so happy to have something healthy and simple to make. I wish my parents were able to have something like that on a regular basis but not with the pricing these companies have. It makes me sad.
    1. Can’t you do Meals On Wheels? Even if you do not qualify for free meals, it only costs $2.00 per meal. It is only lunch, but they are hardy.. The best part is that you get a hello from someone when they deliver.
  11. Looking for diabetic type 2 only one meal a week delivered to home. Do you offer this & where do they come from, what STATE?
  12. I am interested in fully prepared dinners for my mom who lives in the 19072 area. Who would service that area? Thank you very much for your time!!
  13. Looking for home delivery of meals for myn94 year old mother. Dinner only. If you have an easy chew menu it would be helpful as she has no upoer teeth. A menu that leaned towards Italian cuisine would be good. She eats very small portions. Can you give me an idea of pricing for meals and delivery?
  14. I need a plan that lets us pick the meals as he only likes certain things. I want good nutrition for him as he is 85 years old and housebound. I need to know the names of companies that send out the meals we have picked on a 7 day a week basis. Please advise as soon as possible
  15. I broke my shoulder and have a husband who doesn’t like to cook. We. need lunch and or dinner. He likes vegetables and weight watchers. I prefer more protein and cheese. Which service do you suggest? Menus? Help!
  16. I have meals on wheels but in my area they don’t offer vegetarian meals. As a cardiology patient I have been advised to avoid red meats but which meal delivery business offers this in San diego 92139 zip code area
  17. How to apply for a part-time job delivering meals to seniors? Do the deliverers work as volunteers or are they paid by the county, If so, are they salaried or 1099’d? Are there any benefit associated with this position?
  18. Hi, im helping senior who is Mitsuko. She is difficult to cook by her self and we are looking for somebody can deliver already cooked and ready to heat up. Do you have those service? Could you please advice? Thank you very much.
    1. Hello- you might want to check out these ready-to-heat options- Fresh ‘n Lean, Martha’s Senior Gourmet and Healthy Chef Creations. Hope that helps!

  19. Also check out chefsforseniors[dot]com in select markets. In Tucson, AZ the service is an in home personal chef who does grocery shopping, meal prep and menu planning for the next visit. Affordable and so easy!
  20. Thanks for sharing this information. The food delivery trends are consistently changing with the growing demand of customers and to overcome the challenges of delivery boys also.

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