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Find the best meal delivery for seniors

Profile picture of Jessica Render
by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Diet-to-Go and HelloFresh
older woman washing vegetables

For seniors and those with mobility issues, meal delivery services aren’t just a matter of convenience. These plans offer balanced, nutritional meal options that help older adults live independently and avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store. Whether a senior lives alone or with family, meal delivery services and prepared meal kits reduce the meal preparation burden on the whole household.

Explore our top meal delivery options for seniors:

How to choose a food delivery service for seniors

There are many delivery services on the market, but not all are geared towards older adults. As you evaluate your options, first consider the frequency with which you’ll receive meals. Most services provide weekly meal deliveries with either a preselected list of recipes or fully customizable meal plans. In many cases, you can adjust or pause deliveries if you need them more or less frequently.

There are a few types of meal delivery plans available:

  • Grocery deliveries from your written lists
  • Fresh ingredient delivery for preselected recipes
  • Fully prepared meals that just need to be reheated

For seniors who enjoy cooking, meal kit deliveries provide fresh ingredients and printed recipes that can be adjusted to your dietary needs. Meal deliveries, on the other hand, provide pre-made meals that are refrigerated or frozen and reheated at home. Both types of meal services are delivered in coolers with ice packs to keep your food fresh.

You can find options that account for dietary restrictions, including plans designed for vegans, those on low-sodium diets, vegetarians or people with diabetes or food allergies. Some low-cost options are available, including plans with reduced costs for those on a fixed income.

Services are typically priced by meal, with complete meals ranging from $6 to $15 per serving. Breakfast items and snacks are usually less than $10 per serving. Seniors and first-time customers may qualify for additional discounts, and purchasing meal bundles can offer savings as well. Shipping charges range from $9 to $20.

As a final step of choosing a food delivery service for older adults, carefully review customer reviews for feedback on pricing, food quality and ease of delivery. This helps you get an idea of whether you’ll enjoy the service and if it works for your needs. You can also rule out services that have multiple service complaints against them.

Our top senior meal delivery service picks

Silver Cuisine by BistroMD

DETAILS
  • Cost: Starting at $5.49 per meal
  • Type: Prepared, ready to heat
  • Tailored to seniors: Yes

Read reviews

Silver Cuisine by BistroMD offers a wide variety of precooked meals for seniors. Meals are chef-prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients. They’re frozen, individually wrapped, packed with dry ice and shipped through FedEx. Select from more than 150 meals each week, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. All meals can be heated in the microwave or the oven.

Silver Cuisine is priced per meal and has meals starting as low as $5.49 each. Shipping costs $19.95 per order with no minimum order amount, and customers get free shipping for orders over $99.

Silver Cuisine also offers a variety of specialty diet options, including heart healthy, gluten free, diabetic friendly, low sodium, low carb, menopausal support, dairy free, Mediterranean and vegetarian.

Top Chef Meals

DETAILS
  • Cost: Starting at $12.49 per meal
  • Type: Prepared, ready to heat
  • Tailored to seniors: Yes

Read reviews

Top Chef Meals offers high-quality, customizable meals that are ready to eat in as few as three minutes. Choose from more than 75 meals with rotating seasonal specials like beef stew, glazed ham and Thanksgiving dinners. Meals are delivered frozen and can be heated in the oven or microwave without removing from the tray.

A la carte options start at $3.50, while packages start at $49.96 for four meals. Meals can be tailored to your tastes and dietary needs, whether you want to swap out a side, add more protein or include extra sauce. Free shipping is available in some areas, and all orders are shipped with recyclable cooler bags to keep your meals fresh.

Top Chef offers healthy senior meals for those with specialty diets, and customers 60 or older get 15% off their order. Special meals are available for those on renal, diabetic-friendly, low-carb, low-sodium, gluten-free, low-fat and dairy-free diets.

HelloFresh

DETAILS
  • Cost: Starting at $7.49 per serving
  • Type: Ingredients, ready to cook
  • Tailored to seniors: No

Read reviews

HelloFresh delivers fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes for those who enjoy cooking and discovering new dishes. This delivery service offers meal plans for two or four people with two to four recipes per week. Each recipe is packed into a convenient meal kit. HelloFresh chefs test each recipe 45 times to ensure it’s delicious and easy to make. Plans are flexible, so you can skip weeks, change recipes and cancel whenever you need to.

While HelloFresh does not offer senior-specific plans, they do offer a variety of recipes with fresh ingredients delivered straight to your door, making it easier for seniors to meal plan and get quality meals without having to shop for their own groceries.

HelloFresh sends fresh ingredients so you can prepare your meals at home. These plans are ideal for those who still enjoy cooking for themselves. Dietary options include Meat and Veggies, Vegetarian, Family Friendly, Calorie Smart, Fast Meals and Pescatarian.

HelloFresh starts at $7.49 per serving with $8.99 shipping.

Diet-to-Go

DETAILS
  • Cost: Starting at $8.57 per meal
  • Type: Prepared, ready to heat
  • Tailored to seniors: No

Read reviews

Diet-to-Go provides personalized, fully prepared meals for those trying to lose weight. Weekly delivery is automatic, but you can pause, cancel and customize your favorite meals as needed. The company offers four menus to choose from and has a wide variety of choices, including vegetarian or seafood options. Meals can be reheated in as few as two minutes. Discounts and special promotions are available.

Diet-to-Go does not offer senior-specific plans but rather diet-specific plans. Diet-to-Go offers a nutritionally balanced diet for those looking to lose weight, diabetics, vegetarians and those on keto diets. These meals are ready to eat after just two to three minutes in the microwave. Meals start at $8.57 each, and shipping costs $19.98 per order.

Magic Kitchen

DETAILS
  • Cost: Starting at $12 per meal
  • Type: Prepared, ready to heat
  • Tailored to seniors: Yes

Magic Kitchen delivers main courses, side dishes, soups, breads, desserts and special-diet meals across the United States. Meals are ready to heat in the oven or microwave, and each meal comes with specific reheating instructions and a list of ingredients, allergens and nutrition facts. Holiday specials are available as well as mix-and-match meals, bundles and a la carte entrees, sides and desserts. Magic Kitchen delivers to all 50 states, and each shipment is packed with dry ice.

Magic Kitchen offers nutritionally balanced senior meals and gives a $10 discount on orders over $80. It also provides special-diet options like dairy-free, gluten-free, low-carb, low-fat, low-sodium, diabetic-friendly, renal-friendly and vegetarian meals.

Meal bundles start at $12 for individual meals, and the company has bundled and a la carte options.

Mom’s Meals

DETAILS
  • Cost: Starting at $6.99 per meal
  • Type: Prepared, ready to heat
  • Tailored to seniors: Yes

Mom’s Meals is a meal delivery service that works with health care organizations, state agencies, case managers and individuals looking for healthy, balanced diets. Meals are nutritionally tailored to specific health conditions and include high-quality ingredients for a tasty refrigerated meal. Mom’s Meals are ready to warm in the microwave and include heating instructions for each entree.

Meals from this company are nutritionally tailored to specific health conditions that affect seniors. Mom’s Meals also offers meals for general wellness, renal-friendly, diabetes-friendly, gluten-free, pureed, vegetarian, heart-friendly, cancer support and low-sodium diets. All meals include protein, grain and vegetables and are 400 to 700 calories per meal. There are more than 60 breakfast, lunch and dinner combinations.

Individual meals from Mom’s Meals start at $6.99 for standard menu items and $7.99 for pureed, renal or gluten-free options.

Senior meal delivery FAQ

What are the top nutritional needs for seniors?
A specialized, balanced diet helps older adults maintain their weight and health. Seniors need more calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, fiber and potassium. They should also carefully monitor their sodium, fat and carbohydrate intake. To achieve this, a diet of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fortified cereals and low-fat or fat-free dairy. Meals should be seasoned with spices other than salt, and fruits and veggies can be enjoyed as light snacks to keep sugar content low.
Do any meal delivery services offer meal plans specially curated for seniors?
Yes, many meal kit and meal delivery services offer diets specifically designed for seniors. These may include low-carb, low-fat, low-sodium, diabetic-friendly, renal-friendly and other diets that address senior health concerns.
Does Medicare pay for home-delivered meals?
No, Medicare does not cover meal delivery services. Those on a fixed income may qualify for Meals on Wheels, which provides meals on a sliding fee scale. Some seniors qualify for free meals and others pay full price, depending on financial need. No seniors will be denied meals based on their inability to pay.

Seniors qualify for Meals on Wheels based on their income. Call your local meals on wheels program to see if you meet their income requirements. If you don’t qualify, you can often pay for this service out of pocket.

Are there senior discounts for meal delivery plans?
Yes, some companies offer discounts for seniors. Fixed price discounts range from $10 to $20, while percentage discounts are typically 10% to 20% off.
What’s the difference between meal kits and meal delivery?
Meal kits include fresh ingredients and instructions for recipes you can cook at home. This option is best for those who enjoy cooking or are physically able to. Alternatively, meal deliveries are pre-made meals that are frozen or refrigerated and can be reheated at home.

Bottom line: Are meal delivery services worth it for seniors?

Meal delivery services and meal kits can be a great option for people of all ages — especially older adults looking to save time and energy and make meal planning easier. For seniors, we recommend looking for a plan tailored to your specific dietary needs to help take even the guesswork out of selecting meals. If you still enjoy cooking and preparing food, there are plenty of options that deliver ingredients instead of pre-prepared meals.

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Profile picture of Jessica Render
by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs research team, Jessica Render is dedicated to providing well-researched, valuable content designed to help consumers make informed purchase decisions they can feel confident making. She holds a degree in journalism from Oral Roberts University.