Are Meal Kit Delivery Services a Good Option for Mom or Dad?

Posted: 3/5/2020 8:00 AM by Interim HealthCare
Nutrition is such an important topic for all of us, but especially for seniors. March is National Nutrition Month, and focuses on the importance of making strong decisions and building strong habits around healthy foods. 

But, making consistently strong food decisions can be challenging when you're an older adult. Your ability to get out and purchase healthy food can be affected. Plus, aging can effect your ability to:
  • Properly wash, cut and otherwise prepare foods, particularly fruits and vegetables
  • Bend, lift and maneuver to gather pots, pans, ingredients and other tools for preparation
  • Hold or carry hot dishes
  • Wash, dry and put away significant amounts of dishes after meals
Seems like a lot, doesn't it? Now multiply those activities by three meals per day, seven days a week! Sounds exhausting just to think about!

Yet, sound nutrition is critically important to help treat and prevent a range of health issues -- especially those that are more likely to affect seniors. 

Meal kits can simplify healthy eating for seniors

If you watch television or are active on social media, chances are you've seen at least a few ads for meal kit services. These popular services aim to save time and effort for busy individuals -- if you have kids, you may have considered one or more of these services to help you prepare healthy meals after a busy day at work or school.

But have you considered meal kit services for your senior loved ones? While Meals on Wheels still provides meals for seniors and others who need extra help, there are now a range of meal kit providers serving individuals and families of all shapes and sizes.

At first glance, they seem like they could be a strong fit. Meal kit services can help by: 

  • Being delivered directly to the door of your loved ones -- no worries about getting to and from the grocery store
  • Putting all the necessary ingredients into one package
  • Pre-measuring and cutting ingredients to make preparation simple
  • Significantly reducing the amount of time needed to cook healthy meals
  • Providing only the amount of ingredients necessary for your loved one -- no unnecessary wasted food (or money!)
  • Ensuring your senior loved one eats healthy, complete meals 
  • Providing meals that adhere to special health conditions (many meal kit providers can provide low sodium or heart healthy meals, for example)
For seniors who wish to maintain some sense of control over their meals, and especially for those who enjoy cooking -- but for whatever reason cannot or prefer not to deal with all the minutiae of preparing a big meal -- meal kits can be an excellent option. 

But, while meal kits can provide an excellent option for many seniors, they may not be a fit for your senior loved ones. Here are some potential roadblocks to consider:
  • Your loved one may not want to do ANY cooking at all
  • Your loved one may not be able to maneuver safely around the kitchen, even with limited steps
  • Cost is a concern -- meal kit services are convenient, but that convenience comes at a cost (often at or around $10 per serving)
  • Your loved one is a picky eater and refuses to eat certain foods

Meal kit factors to consider

If you've decided meal kits are a good fit for your senior loved one, consider these factors when weighing different options:
  • Are the meals completely prepared, or is some work necessary?
  • Are the meals/ingredients frozen or fresh?
  • How much do the meals cost?
  • Is there any flexibility in choosing meals or setting food preferences?
  • Can meals be prepared using a toaster oven or microwave, or are a full oven and range necessary?
  • How often are meals/ingredients delivered? Will your loved one have room for all of them in his or her fridge or freezer? 

Does your senior loved one need extra help?

Here at Interim HealthCare, our home health aides help seniors across the country with a range of daily needs, including meal preparation, dressing, bathing, household tasks and more. If your loved one needs help, but you're not sure which option is best, contact the Interim HealthCare location nearest you. We'll get to know your family and your needs, and can recommend the best possible solution for you and your loved one.