The meal kit delivery industry is part of this brave not-so-new world, providing customers across the country with fresh ingredients and unique recipes that don’t require ever having to leave the house.
Meal kits have become popular with all types of people across the country, and while research has indicated that only about 12% of meal kit customers are over 45 years old, there are more than enough reasons for retirees and senior citizens to see what meal kits can do for their home cooking. So if you’re considering signing up for one of the best meal delivery services for yourself or for a parent who you think would really get a kick out of it, here are 10 reasons to give it a shot:
#1 It Lets You Plan Your Home-Cooking Ahead of Time
Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you don’t have plans. Most meal kit companies understand this, and allow you to plan your meal kit deliveries weeks in advance. For instance with Home Chef, you can plan your menu orders up to 5 weeks ahead using the site’s handy calendar. It’s just one way that meal kits can make things easier.
#2 It’s Flexibile
There will probably be times when your plans change or you’ll need to cancel or delay an order, or where you’ll want to switch to a 4-member plan when your grandkids come to stay. Most meal kit companies will let you freeze or move around your orders, and won’t penalize you for doing so.
#3 You Can Do Your Grocery Shopping from the Comfort of Your Home
The world can at times appear to be split down the middle—those who like to stroll through the supermarket aisles in a blissful trance, and those who would rather do just about anything other than make a shopping list, drive to the store, and battle the other shoppers in the aisles and checkout counters.
#4 It’s Easy - Even If You Never Learned to Cook
One of the things that can deter people from home-cooking is the preparation. Knowing how much to use of which ingredient and how to bring it all together doesn’t come as easy for everybody. Luckily, with meal kit companies, there is a big emphasis on making sure that the recipes are easy even for novices.
#5 You’ll Discover New Ingredients
A big part of the fun of meal kits is that the recipes can introduce you to all types of ingredients you may have never used or eaten before. Take for instance Martha & Marley Spoon, where you can find recipes with delicious and hard-to-pronounce ingredients like za’atar, harissa, and Gochujang, just to name a few. These companies have the know-how to not only find ingredients that will appeal to customers, but also to craft inventive recipes that will make sure their flavors soar.
#6 You’ll Learn New Recipes
Meal kit companies are kind of the best of both worlds. Not only do they send you fish (and pork, beef, and chicken) but they also teach you how to fish—figuratively speaking. With each meal you will receive an easy to read and follow recipe, which you can keep for your own recipe portfolio. With these recipes you’ll gain a familiarity with new cooking techniques and ingredients, which you can use down the line in your own kitchen creations.
#7 It Will Help You Keep Track of What You Eat
If you’re like most of us, you probably don’t add up the calories, fat, and carbs of every meal you whip together at home. Every serious meal kit company today includes the nutritional information with each recipe. This can really help if you’re trying to watch what you eat, which can be a very important lifestyle change for seniors, who often face new health concerns that call for healthier lifestyle.
#8 It Can Meet Your Dietary Needs
Dietary requirements are a big concern for countless consumers, especially when we get a little older and start dealing with more health issues. But even though we can’t stay out all night partying and eating like we did in our 20s (when “deep-fried” was a de-facto food group), we can still enjoy eating, especially with the options offered by meal kits. Sun Basket is one of the best diet food delivery companies to highlight meals that are “diabetes-friendly”, and the company also organizes meals under headings such as “gluten-free”, “paleo”, and “vegetarian.” You can choose meals according to these labels or opt for a specific meal plan that meets your dietary needs.
#9 It’ll Keep You Within Your Budget
By your age, you probably know the benefits of keeping a balanced checkbook and having a bird’s eye view on where your money goes every week. The things is, not everybody does that, and when it comes to grocery shopping and eating out, it can get hard to keep track. With meal kits, you always know exactly what you’ll spend on food that week. The fact that you can order your meals for the upcoming month means that you can factor in these expenses right off the bat and know where you stand.
#10 It’s Fun!
Meal kits provide a hands-on sensory experience that starts the second you pick up the box from your front door. Good things (often) come in small packages and there’s just something fun and almost therapeutic about opening the meal kit box and going one-by-one through the little individually wrapped packages of spices and produce, and the tiny bottles of sauce.
Meal kits break up the monotony of your late afternoon or early evening dinner routine, giving you a fun activity for a solid 30-45 minutes, followed by a delicious meal.
Now that you have an idea about what meal kits entail, let’s take a closer look at the top meal kits for seniors:
1. Home Chef
($9.95 per serving, shipping is $10 on orders under $45, free if over $45)
Home Chef is a great option for seniors who want to eat healthier at home but maybe aren’t wizards in the kitchen.
The company keeps things simple with step-by-step instructions for the 13 meals available per week.
You’ll want seconds: Steak with Tuscan corn saute
And while the selection isn’t as broad as on some sites, with Home Chef you can accommodate a number of specialty diets, including vegetarian, nut-free, soy-free, gluten-free, low-carb, and dairy-free.
2. Sun Basket
($11.99 per serving on classic menu, $9.99 per serving on family menu. $6.99 shipping per order)
Sun Basket puts high-quality ingredients front and center with a meal kit plan that is chock full of easy recipes, perfect for seniors.
Sun Basket is one of the top vegan meal delivery, and can also accommodate paleo, gluten-free, and vegetarian diets, and no matter which meals you order, all of the produce is organic. The meals you can order with Sun Basket are as varied as they are delicious—ranging from Vietnamese chicken salad bowls to shrimp risotto and lemon.
You’ll want seconds: Blackened chicken breasts with collard greens and sweet potato
Call it home cooking or soul food if you like, we just know its good. This cajun-inspired chicken dinner is pan seared with molasses and spices which go nicely with the greens and sweet potato salad. Not only that, you should have it ready in only 20 minutes. Pretty hard to go wrong there.
($9.95 to #11.95 per serving depending on the number of servings you order. Shipping is $7.95 each order and free if you order more than 2 nights per week.)
You know what they say - variety is the spice of life, and with Plated you get to choose from 20 meals per day plus 2 desserts. You can also easily mix and match your dishes and change the serving sizes for each item.
You’ll want seconds: Pan-roasted pork chop with salsa verde and rainbow carrots
All of the meals use organic produce and antibiotic free proteins, and recipes that range from exotic fare like squash coconut curry to well-known household classics like seared steak.
And if you ever have any questions, you can easily reach the customer service department of Plated by email or phone.
4. Martha & Marley Spoon
($8.70 — $9.50 per serving depending on the plan and number of servings you order.)
A lot of people think that if you want to eat some good home cooking, you really have to work hard and know what you’re doing. With Martha & Marley Spoon though, you can cook up something divine without having to put in too much work.
Martha & Marley Spoon features 10 new recipes each week, all carefully selected from Martha Stewart’s own recipe collection. You can select 2-4 meals per week and plan deliveries for up to 2 months ahead. The company also gives you some flexibility about what you want in your meals.
Martha & Marley Spoon keeps up with the best in the meal kit industry when it comes to putting premium, seasonal ingredients in every box. And while it’s got Martha Stewart in the name, don’t get the wrong idea—at only $8.70 to $9.50 per meal with shipping included—this is one of the best deals on the meal kit scene.
You’ll want seconds: Crispy Lemon-Parmesan Chicken with Roasted Broccolini
We’ve all had our fair share of fried chicken cutlets but Martha Stewart is cooking up something extra special here. Thin, boneless chicken breasts are coated in panko crumbs and parmesan cheese, sauteed and browned in the oven and served alongside broccolini and a creamy, lemon sauce. That almost sounds too good to be true.
So What’s on the Menu?
With meal kits, it’s not just about convenience - it’s also the opportunity to learn about all types of new spices and recipes and techniques that can change your cooking for good. Not only that, it makes eating healthy easier than ever before—which is no small task when we get a bit older. Once you’ve decided which meal plan is right for you, then it’s time to wait for that first box to arrive and get to cooking.