“What’s for dinner?” It is an age-old question that is repeated in homes across the world. For seniors, answering the question may be a bit more complicated and often results in poor nutritional choices. Malnutrition in older adults is increasingly prevalent and may lead to serious health concerns, including a weakened immune system, loss of muscle and bone mass, and poor wound healing.
There are many factors that contribute to malnutrition in older adults, such as a reduced ability to shop for and prepare food due to physical and/or cognitive decline. That’s why meal prep and food delivery services can be a convenient and effective solution – especially for seniors.
Below, we introduce you to some different meal prep and delivery options for seniors, and identify who may benefit most from each.
Meal Kit Services
Best option for: Seniors who still enjoy cooking on their own
If you or your loved one still enjoys preparing their meals, you can opt to have meal kits delivered right to your door, complete with all the necessary ingredients and condiments.
There are dozens of meal kit delivery options out there, and each one has its own unique specialization. With subscription-based services like BlueApron and Sun Basket, you can choose from a variety of custom meal plans, including plans specifically tailored to wellness, and decide when and how often you want to receive deliveries.
Among meal kit services, there are some that cater to special dietary restrictions or guidelines:
- Low sodium
Prepared Meal Delivery
Best option for: Seniors looking for the convenience of already prepared meals
Prepared meal delivery embraces a similar concept to meal kits, only the meals come already prepared. Once you receive the meal, all you have to do is warm it up before consuming.
Again, there are a wide array of options available, depending on the level of freshness preferred. Services like Freshly boast never-frozen meals that are prepared and delivered within 24 hours, while others like Magic Kitchen specialize in high-quality flash-frozen meals with a bit longer shelf life.
Options for Special Dietary Needs
Best option for: Seniors who are following a special diet, yet want minimal preparation
If you follow a special modified diet, or a doctor has recommended a specific diet for you or your loved one, such as low sodium, high protein, etc., then a meal delivery service that relies on input from medical professionals could be ideal.
Silver Cuisine by bistroMD specializes in customized, scientifically-designed meals for people 50 and older. Silver Cuisine’s chefs follow physician guidelines while preparing each meal, which is then flash-frozen for freshness. The meals also utilize packaging that is easy to open – a bonus if you or a loved one has difficulty using their hands.
This type of option is also reassuring for caregivers, who can rest assured that their loved ones are consuming food that is both nutritious and easy to prepare. Options include heart healthy, gluten free, diabetic, low sodium and more.
Grocery Delivery Services
Best option for: Seniors who still want to cook for themselves but aren’t comfortable going to the grocery store
If you or your loved one is still happy and able to prepare their own meals, taking advantage of a grocery delivery service can make life easier by eliminating the need to go to the grocery store.
Large-scale outfits like Amazon Fresh offer same-day grocery delivery service nationwide, which is included as a benefit of Amazon Prime membership. If you’re more partial to your own local grocery store, you can utilize Instacart or Shipt to have shoppers go to the store for you and deliver your groceries to your door.
Alternatively, most grocery chains offer their own version of grocery pickup and delivery services, so be sure to ask your local grocery store if these are available.
Still having trouble deciding? Meal Matchmaker offers a quick comparison guide allowing you to quickly view the pros and cons of each meal delivery service.