Assisted living facilities cater to the basic needs of all elderly residents, including homecooked meals prepared every day. For seniors aging in place, though, it’s a little trickier to get adequate nutrition.
That’s where elderly meal delivery services come in. They provide seniors with nutritious food every single day, limiting the time they spend shopping, preparing, and cooking, and ensuring they meet their nutrition needs.
What to Consider
To find the best meal delivery services for your needs or the needs of your loved one, keep the following in mind:
Whether the senior can cook or not is key. If they’re used to preparing and cooking their own meals and want to maintain their independence, it’s better to provide them with access to groceries and simple meal plans, as opposed to fully prepared meals.
That way, they don’t have to worry about grocery shopping or meal planning but can still get involved with the cooking process.
How often are the meals needed? Are meal delivery services required for every meal or just as a supplement? It may be too expensive to choose these services for all meals, but there are alternatives.
Many basic meal delivery services provide simple meals that are cheap, easy, and nutritious. They buy, prepare, and cook foods in large quantities, and this usually means you’ll see a lot of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and boiled meats.
Vegetarian and vegan alternatives may be offered on occasion, but if you’re actually vegetarian or vegan and need these services for 3 meals a day, you may find that you’re eating the same thing day after day.
In such cases, look for specifically tailored meal delivery services. There are plenty of options out there these days, but you may need to pay a little more.
Are you buying healthy meals full of whole foods, fresh ingredients, and all the nutrients your body needs, or are you relying on frozen microwave meals loaded with sugar, salt, and saturated fat?
Look for an option that fits your budget and offers the best value for money. Can you afford several meals a day, can you mix and match the services, and are there are ways to cut costs?
While a healthy and nutritious meal delivery service may seem very expensive at first, if it’s providing you with all your nutrition needs, you won’t need to pay for groceries or transportation to visit the grocery store. Throw in the added convenience provided by these meal services, and those high prices look a little more reasonable.
The Best Meal Kit Services for Seniors
A meal delivery kit delivers a box of fresh food and instructions on how to cook it. Cutting, mixing, and cooking is needed, so this is not the best option when time and mobility are limited. However, it provides the user with more control and means they can eat freshly prepared food every time.
Essentially, it’s just like a visit to the grocery store, only someone is planning your meals, preparing the ingredients (all with the right amounts), and telling you how to cook.
Many of these meal delivery kits provide a minimum of 2 servings, but if you’re cooking for yourself, you can always freeze a portion and save it for later.
The best meal kit delivery services include:
- Hello Fresh: A wide variety of options, including family meals, vegetarian options, and low-calorie meals. The cost is around $9.99 per serving, with an additional shipping cost of $7.99.
- Home Chef: Meals are offered for less than $10 per serving, with smoothie add-ons for less than $5. Shipping is $10 but it is free for orders over $40.
- Blue Apron: Also available for $9.99 a serving, Blue Apron has lots of meat, fish, and meat-free options, and these change on a weekly basis to ensure there’s always plenty of variety.
- Green Chef: A healthy-eating meal kit with options for many different diets, including keto and paleo. This might be a little too complicated for many seniors but it is ideal for those looking for more variety and lots of healthy options.
- Sun Basket: With farm to plate dishes, Sun Basket is a little more expensive than the other options on this list, totaling around $12 a serving. However, there are more options, including breakfast, lunch, snacks, and more.
The Best Readymade Meal Services for Seniors
When cooking is not an option, look into prepared meal services. The company will prepare and cook the meals for you. These are then frozen before being carefully shipped to your home. Simply pop them in the oven or microwave and you’re good to go.
These services are more convenient for seniors who can’t prepare or cook, and they also tend to be a little cheaper.
We have listed a few of the best prepared meal services for seniors below. These meals range from around $6 to $12, depending on the meal.
- Silver Cuisine: Order pre-prepared meals for the day or week. Choose options for breakfast, lunch, and dessert, with everything from bagel sandwiches to pasta and more.
- Magic Kitchen: Premium meals with lots of variety prepared by expert chefs. Choose a la carte, with options for main meals, side dishes, soups, and desserts, or pick from the Magic Kitchen menu. Magic Kitchen targets seniors in particular and caters to many dietary needs.
- Splendid Spoon: Sells boxes of ready-made meals, smoothies, and smoothie bowls, all designed to offer a nutrient-packed breakfast or lunch.
The Best Meal Delivery Services
Meals on Wheels is the best-known, most varied, and cheapest meal delivery service for seniors. They work through more than 5,000 locally run programs, and if you visit the Meals on Wheels website you can search by your location.
Every day, Meals on Wheels will travel to your home and provide you with a freshly cooked meal, one that is designed to meet your nutrition needs and is based on your specific dietary requirements.
You need to be at least 60 to qualify in most areas, and prices are based on a sliding scale that is tailored to meet the needs of the individual.