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 a meal kit 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.
With Plated, for example, you can easily change your delivery dates and change from a weekly to a daily plan—whatever suits you. You’ll also have flexibility with the recipes themselves, and can change the serving suggestions and mix and match some of the ingredients to suit your taste.
#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.
For senior citizens who have mobility issue this can be even more of an issue, especially when you factor in the long walk from the parking lot and the endless aisles where things can be hard to find.
With meal kit delivery, you can receive all the supplies you need for fanciful home cooking without having to schlep to the store. Not only that, the recipes you’ll find with meal kit companies tend to combine a wide-range of interesting ingredients that on your own you might have to stop at more than one store to get.
#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.
With HelloFresh, the recipes all have 6 steps or less. The recipes have also been pre-portioned, so you don’t have to fuss with measuring them out or opening one big jar after another. In other words, even if you’ve made it all the way to retirement without having learned how to cook fine food at home, meal kits have you covered.
#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.
#6 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 first 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.
Other companies will also help you keep track of allergens, letting you know if a recipe is nut-free or soy-free.
#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.
Meal kit companies typically offer 2, 3, or 4 menus per week, so you won’t have every day covered, but you will have an easier time organizing costs.
#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.
It can also bring a lot more life and newfound fun to your kitchen, especially if your kids are no longer raiding the fridge and leaving dishes everywhere.
Sold on the idea but unsure where to start? Compare the best meal kits for seniors to find the box that's right for you.