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Best Meal Kit Delivery Options For Seniors

Meal kit delivery services have become a booming business. What started out as a niche market has grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry where new competitors enter the market regularly. The concept for each company is generally the same. You set up an account online through their website, choose the meal plan and meals you want, and it shows up at your door in a few days.

Meal kit delivery services are different than prepared meal delivery. Prepared meal delivery services are heat and eat meals. Meal kits allow you to still prepare the meal – just quicker. With meal kit delivery, the ingredients are pre-measured and packaged with a step by step recipe, so you can prepare dinner. The meals usually take between 30 to 45 minutes to fix, although some take longer. Most kits will require you to have a few pantry basics like salt, pepper and cooking oil on hand. And of course, you’ll need the utensils to cook with.

We’ve compiled a list of the best meal kit delivery services to help you choose the one that fits your needs.

Updated onApr. 27, 2022

Features & Specs

  • Two meal plans offered
  • Wine club offering
  • New recipes added each week
  • 2-person meal kits start at $9.99 a serving
  • 4-person meal kits start at $8.99 a serving
Pros
  • Easy to follow instructions

  • Uses fresh, organic fruits and vegetables

  • Uses hormone- and antibiotic-free meat

  • Deliveries are made nationwide

Cons
  • Shipping not always free

  • Limited options for specific dietary needs

  • Vegetarian dishes only offered for 2-person plan

  • Must be home to receive wine deliveries

Blue Apron started in 2012 by three men in New York who wanted to give Americans an easy way to make dinner. Blue Apron offers two meal plans – the 2-person plan serves two people. The family plan serves four.

Blue Apron strives to offer food that’s fresh and interesting but not too exotic. If you have specific dietary needs, Blue Apron might not be your best choice. In addition to its standard fare, it has a vegetarian option, but that’s it as far as special diet menus.

Blue Apron’s website is one of the easiest to navigate for meal kit delivery. It’s very straightforward and simple to use and is a good option for anyone looking to try meal kit delivery for the first time.

Features & Specs

  • Easy-to-follow instructions
  • New recipes each week
  • Offers meals for omnivore, gluten-free, vegetarian, Paleo, Keto and vegan
Pros
  • Offers wide variety of specialized diet meals

  • Delivers with most of prep work finished

  • Uses non-GMO produce

  • Uses antibiotic-free and pasture-raised meats

Cons
  • Higher cost than most meal kit delivery services

  • Shipping is not free

  • Can not change number of meals received every week

  • Family plan only offers omnivore and vegetarian meals

Green Chef started in 2014 with a mission to provide organic and environmentally responsible meals. It’s actually a USDA-certified organic company.

All meal kit delivery services ship the ingredients to you and let you cook the meal. What sets Green Chef apart is that as much prep work as possible is done for you when your meals arrive. For instance, instead of sending you vegetables to chop up – they are pre-chopped for you. It makes the cooking process quicker and easier.

Features & Specs

  • Offers 10 new recipes each week
  • 2-person meals start at $8.99 per serving
  • 4-person meals start at $7.87
  • Wine club offering
Pros
  • Easy to follow instructions

  • Meals can be prepared in six steps

  • Uses fresh, seasonal ingredients

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • Only offers standard and vegetarian meals

  • Lack of meal variety

  • Website is thin on information

  • Some customers have had issues with cancellations

HelloFresh launched in 2011 in Berlin when meals were hand delivered to its first 10 customers. Now its products are sent to thousands of homes across the U.S. Not only is it one of the oldest meal kit delivery services, it’s one of the most budget-friendly ones as well.

HelloFresh provides recipes that use quality, farm-fresh ingredients that turn into meals in six simple steps. But if you’re looking for food that fits into a specific dietary regiment, HelloFresh may not be your best bet. They offer only standard and vegetarian meals.

Features & Specs

  • Martha Stewart inspired recipes
  • Fresh, seasonal ingredients
  • 2-person plan starts at $12 per serving
  • 4-person plan starts at $9.50 per serving
Pros
  • Free shipping

  • Generous portions

  • Large, easy to read recipe cards

  • Recipes are generally six steps

Cons
  • Meals take longer to prepare than indicated

  • Requires you to provide more ingredients than most services

  • More formal-type meals than most services

  • Only offers standard and vegetarian meals

Marley Spoon launched in 2015 also in Berlin. It later partnered with Martha Stewart to launch its services in the United States. The meal kit delivery service is a bit more gourmet and upscale than others, which you might expect from a Martha Stewart branded company.

Martha and Marley Spoon prides itself on using farm-fresh ingredients and offers two, three and four meal order selections. The recipes are easy to follow but often take longer to prepare than other meal kit delivery services and some require utensils that may not be standard in many kitchens.

Features & Specs

  • 20 dinner recipes offered weekly
  • 2-person meals start at $11.95 per serving
  • 3-person meals start at $9.95 per serving
  • 4-person meals start at $9.95 per serving
Pros
  • Offers vegetarian, gluten-free, low-calorie and low-carb meals

  • High quality ingredients

  • Offers a 3-person meal plan

  • Uses hormone-free and antibiotic-free meat

Cons
  • Higher cost than most meal kit delivery services

  • Website hard to navigate

  • Doesn’t deliver nationwide

  • Limited dessert options

New York-based Plated began offering meal kit delivery to Americans in 2012. It uses some of the highest quality ingredients and innovative recipes to make dinner an enjoyable experience.

It’s the most flexible of the meal kit delivery services, allowing you to swap recipes and add and take away meals from week to week. It also has a hotline you can call if you get stuck while cooking or need alternative options for preparing the meal.

Features & Specs

  • USDA certified organic
  • 18 weekly menu choices
  • 2-person meal plans start at $11.99 per serving
  • Family meal plan starts at $10.99 per serving
Pros
  • Uses antibiotic- and hormone-free meats

  • Offers Paleo, lean and clean, gluten-free, Mediterranean, pescatarian, diabetic-friendly, vegan and vegetarian meals

  • Easy to navigate website

  • Money back guarantee within seven days of ordering

Cons
  • Doesn’t ship nationwide

  • More expensive than other services

  • May need utensils not standard in many kitchens to prepare meals

  • Ingredients may not last as long as other services in the refrigerator

Sun Basket was founded in San Francisco in 2014. It’s a USDA certified organic company that prides itself on the fact that it uses only organic, non-GMO ingredients. It also offers more specialty diet meals than any other service – and all of them are geared toward healthy eating. At least one recipe every week is certified by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check Recipe Certification Program guidelines.

Sun Basket wants you to enjoy its meals, so much so, it offers a 100 percent, money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied.

Convenience

If you still like the idea of cooking and are still able to do so, meal kit delivery is worth considering. Even the most creative cooks get in a rut. Finding different recipes that are easy to make and worth trying can be difficult. Oftentimes, you’ll find something that sounds delicious, but you don’t have half the ingredients. And going to the grocery is not always feasible or enjoyable.

Meal kit delivery allows you to still prepare a nutritious meal but without the fuss than can come along with finding a recipe yourself. They also take a lot of the guess work out of the prep work. Ingredients arrive pre-measured – so you have the exact amount you need. Cooking times are generally much less than making your own meal and recipes are easy to follow.

For seniors who are still able to cook but may not be able to get to the grocery like they need, meal kit delivery may be a great option. The services can be expensive, but there is plenty of market competition, allowing you to find one that fits your budget.

Health Benefits

Instead of cooking, sometimes it’s just easier to hit the drive thru, order take out or just eat whatever is in the refrigerator or pantry. And that’s not always the healthiest options. Drive thru food can be loaded with salt, your take out choice may have too many calories and whatever is in the refrigerator or pantry can just be a bad choice all the way around.

Healthy eating requires planning and meal kit delivery services take care of that for you. Using a service can give you healthier options for dinner without too much pre-planning on your part. Most meal services provide nutrition information with their meals, so you know your calorie intact helping you to maintain a healthy weight. If you have specific dietary needs, there are plans available to provide that. So, whether it’s low sugar, low carb, low salt or no meat – you can find a meal kit delivery service that offers it and can help keep you on the diet your body needs.

Summary

For seniors looking for ways to get nutritious meals at home without a lot of hassle, meal kit delivery services may be a good choice. The kits are delivered to your door with everything you need to cook dinner – no thinking, no planning, no trip to the grocery. It’s an easy option to help you continue your independent living.