Best Senior Meal Delivery Services

Silver Cuisine is our top recommendation

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Senior couple and daughter eating lunch on garden terrace

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Senior meal delivery services for seniors are a great way for older adults to maintain their independence while also getting the nutrition they need.

When it comes to identifying the best meal delivery services for seniors, it’s important to know how much assistance you need. Are you looking for help grocery shopping or with all of the meal preparation, soup to nuts? And, while some services just focus on dinner, others provide options for every meal of the day. It’s also key to ensure that the service can accommodate your dietary needs.

The best senior meal delivery services take into account the unique health concerns that may arise for this age group. Fortunately, many companies are dedicated to filling this need; whether you’re looking for yourself or an older adult in your life, you’ll find great options to take the pressure off of mealtime.

Best Senior Meal Delivery Services of 2021

Best Overall: Silver Cuisine

Silver Cuisine

Silver Cuisine

Why We Chose It: With over 150 meals designed specifically for seniors, Silver Cuisine makes eating healthy easy, convenient, and commitment-free.

Pros
Specifically designed for seniors
150+ meals and snacks to choose from
Specialty plans available
No subscription required
Discounts for AARP members

Cons
Few plant-based options
Cannot accommodate severe food allergies
No emphasis on organic ingredients
Expensive shipping

Silver Cuisine caters to adults 50 and older with its nutritionally balanced frozen meals that are ready to eat in about six minutes. With no contracts or minimum orders, you simply select your meals; the company takes care of the planning, shopping, cooking, and delivery.

The rotating menu of chef-crafted breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks has over 150 options that range in price from $5.99 to $19.99. You can filter your search by the following specialty diets: Heart Healthy, Gluten-Free, Diabetic Friendly, Low Sodium, Low Carb, Menopause, Dairy-Free, Mediterranean, and Vegetarian. Expect to find dishes like artichoke spinach and roasted pepper frittata with sausages; grilled salmon with creamy pesto, ratatouille, and roasted cauliflower; and espresso fudge cookie bites.

Silver Cuisine delivers to all of the contiguous United States for a flat fee of $19.95, regardless of the order amount. Shipping is done via FedEx and arrives in two to five days. Although no subscription is required, there is an option to set up recurring orders.

Best for Dietary Restrictions: Mom’s Meals

Mom’s Meals

Mom’s Meals

Why We Chose It: Mom’s Meals supports many nuanced stages of life by offering nine different health condition menus that support dietary needs that most other companies cannot.

Pros
Cater to several health conditions
Options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Meals stay fresh for 14 days
No subscription required
Covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and other plans

Cons
No options for vegan, keto, or paleo
No emphasis on organic ingredients

Mom’s Meals is dedicated to making health more accessible by delivering nutritious, high-quality, refrigerated meals to your doorstep. The meals are designed by professional chefs and registered dieticians and are tailored to support nutrition needed for health conditions that most other services cannot accommodate. Menus include Cancer Support, Diabetes-Friendly, General Wellness, Gluten Free, Heart Friendly, Lower Sodium, Pureed, Renal Friendly, and Vegetarian.

Mom’s Meals is covered under Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid plans, Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) programs, and the Older Americans Act. For individuals or caregivers who want to purchase meals directly, the self-pay program offers packages of 10, 14, or 21 meals starting at $6.99 per meal.

You can choose the meals you want for each delivery from the seasonal menu, which features classic comfort foods as well as contemporary and regional favorites. Sample menu items include sausage egg and cheese burrito with spiced blueberries and apples for breakfast; broccoli cheese soup and apple crisp for lunch; and sweet and sour chicken with stir fry vegetables and rice for dinner.

Mom’s Meals delivers to the contiguous United States. Thanks to custom packaging, meals stay fresh in the refrigerator up to 14 days from the date of delivery. While a subscription is not required, you can opt to have meals auto-ship weekly at a 10 percent discount.

Most Affordable: Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels

Why We Chose It: Meals on Wheels is dedicated to ensuring that seniors have access to adequate nutrition, regardless of their mobility or financial resources.

Pros
Made for seniors
Sliding fee scale
Performs friendly visits and safety checks

Cons
Less choice for meal selection
Waiting lists sometimes apply

Meals on Wheels is dedicated to helping seniors extend their independence and health as they age. Since its founding in Philadelphia in 1954, Meals on Wheels has grown into one of the largest and most effective social movements in America, helping nearly 2.4 million seniors annually in just about every community in the country.

They focus on caring for adults aged 60 and over whose limited mobility makes it hard to shop for groceries, prepare meals, or socialize, and it operates through a network of more than 5,000 independently-run local programs. While the services and operations vary from site to site, each works hard to provide a varied and delicious menu of balanced meals for the seniors. The offering can include two meals: a hot dinner, cold lunch, dessert, and a beverage. A typical meal meets the dietary guidelines set by the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program and meals are often tailored to meet medical needs and cultural preferences.

The fee is on a sliding scale, from no cost to full price, based on individual circumstances. The signup process begins with an application which may then lead to an assessment of the need for meals and other services. Contact your local Meals on Wheels program to find out how to begin the process in your community.

Best for Ready-to-Heat Meals: Top Chef Meals

Top Chef Meals

Top Chef Meals

Why We Chose It: Seniors receive 10 percent off when they order from Top Chef Meals and can fully customize their selection of made fresh-to-order meals.

Pros
10% discount for those 60 and older
Caters to special diets
Meals are made fresh and customizable
No subscription required

Cons
Cannot accommodate vegan or severe food allergies
No emphasis on organic ingredients
Shipping is pricey

Top Chef Meals offers customizable prepared meals that are made fresh to order and then frozen for delivery. The dietician-developed meals accommodate several diets such as diabetic, low sodium renal, gluten-free, and more. People 60 and older receive a 10 percent discount on all orders and no subscription or commitment is required.

You choose from over 75 meals that range from $5.95 to $16.25, all ready to eat in under three minutes. For each entree, you can customize your sides and vegetable selection. For example, for the Belgian waffle entree, you can choose between pork bacon, pork sausage, turkey bacon, and turkey sausage and options like roasted potatoes, oatmeal, and grits. For the stuffed pork tenderloin entree, you choose side dishes like herbed lentil rice, rotini pasta, or sweet potatoes, and vegetables including ratatouille, broccoli, or green beans.

Top Chef Meals delivers via FedEx to the continental U.S. While it does not guarantee the day or time of delivery, orders placed before 9 a.m. ET generally ship the next day via FedEx.

Best Meal Kit Service: Sunbasket

Sunbasket

Sunbasket

Why We Chose It: With prepped ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, Sunbasket allows seniors to cook their own meals while sticking to their specific dietary needs.

Pros
Fresh, organic produce
Responsibly sourced meat and seafood
10 custom meal plans
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and more
Exciting, internationally-inspired meals

Cons
Cannot accommodate severe food allergies
Doesn’t ship to all states

Sunbasket delivers healthy, delicious meals made with organic, farm-fresh ingredients. While there’s no specific plan for seniors, it caters to many tastes and lifestyles that seniors can enjoy. In addition to the Fresh & Ready Meals, which can be enjoyed in as little as three minutes, Sunbasket also offers meal kits. These meals have easy-to-follow directions and are ready in 15–40 minutes. Because you can mix and match between the prepared meals and the kits, this is a great option for seniors who wish to cook some of the time.

There are 10 meal plans to choose: Paleo, Carb-Conscious, Gluten-Free, Lean & Clean, Diabetes-Friendly, Chef’s Choice, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Mediterranean, and Fresh & Ready. Plus, you can add on breakfast, lunch, snacks, and more. When signing up, you select your meal plan, preferences, and the number of meals you’d like to receive each week. While this helps Sunbasket recommend options, you can always order from the full menu. The menu includes more than 30 delicious meals like Marrakech lamb merguez patties with warm carrot salad; shrimp cioppino with fire-roasted tomatoes and baby spinach; and lemongrass turkey and rice noodle lettuce cups with coconut curry.

Sunbasket is a subscription that requires at least four meals per week, starting at $8.99 per meal. There’s no commitment and you can skip or cancel any time before noon PST the Wednesday before your delivery. Sunbasket ships to most ZIP codes in the United States, excluding Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, and parts of New Mexico.

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Best Grocery Delivery Service: Instacart

Instacart

Instacart

Why We Chose It: Instacart is a personal shopping service that makes it easy for seniors to shop at their favorite grocery stores from the comfort of their homes.

Pros
Dedicated customer service line for older adults
Free same-day delivery in as little as 2 hours
Can schedule orders up to two weeks in advance

Cons
Not available in many rural areas
Prices may be higher than in-store

Instacart is the world’s largest online grocery service, with 40,000 stores available to shop in more than 5,500 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Via its website and mobile app, you shop your favorite grocery stores, track as personal shoppers select your items, and then receive your delivery at a time that works best for you—in as little as two hours.

The delivery fee starts at $3.99 for same-day orders over $35 and service fees vary based on location, the size of the order, and whether alcohol is being purchased. While membership is not required, the annual $99 fee for Instacart Express membership affords you a $0 delivery fee on every order over $35 and lower service fees as well.

Instacart offers a special Senior Support Service for customers over the age of 60. It has a dedicated team of customer support agents who specialize in setting up accounts and placing orders for those who may need additional assistance. The Senior Support Line is available in the U.S. and Canada daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

Final Verdict

Meal delivery services can be much more than a convenience for seniors. For some, it may be essential to their ability to nourish themselves while retaining independence. The best service will depend on the senior’s unique set of needs. We recommend Silver Cuisine as the best overall because it was designed specifically for seniors, has a multitude of meal options, and can accommodate many dietary needs common to this age group.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Senior Meal Delivery Services Work?

Senior meal delivery services deliver fully prepared meals or easy-to-prepare meal kits directly to your door. They differ from other services in that they accommodate dietary restrictions more common in older adults, offer customer service resources geared toward this age group, and sometimes provide financial benefits to make healthy eating accessible.

How Should You Choose a Senior Meal Delivery Service?

Because seniors have varying needs, it’s important to consider several factors when choosing a meal delivery service. Dietary restrictions, price, variety of food, and ease of ordering are just a few factors to evaluate.

Why Are Senior Meal Delivery Services Good for Seniors?

For some seniors, it may be difficult to meal plan, grocery shop, and cook. At the same time, eating nutritiously becomes even more important as we age. Meal delivery services provide a way for older adults and their caregivers to access food that meets their health needs.

Does Medicare Cover Senior Meal Delivery Services? 

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) generally doesn’t pay for meal delivery services. Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) is a healthcare option you can choose to replace your original Medicare coverage and is purchased through a private insurance company. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer meal delivery as a benefit, but it isn’t guaranteed with every plan and is usually for a limited time. Consult your specific plan to see if it is covered.

Are Senior Meal Delivery Services Worth the Cost?

The need for a meal delivery service may range from a helping hand in the kitchen for an active senior to an absolute necessity due to a medical condition or mobility limitations. Deciding whether the price is worthwhile is up to the individual and their particular situation. It’s also important to note that services like Meals on Wheels are dedicated to removing the financial barrier to nutritious meals and would never turn down a senior due to inability to pay.

Methodology

When narrowing down the best senior meal delivery services, we identified those that are either specifically designed for seniors or have offerings that would be especially suited to seniors. In addition to ensuring that the most common nutritional needs are accommodated, we selected companies that make placing and managing orders easy and straightforward for older people.

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