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In This Review:

The 6 Best Meal Kit Delivery Services of 2022

Aug 29, 2022

By Cara Everett, MS, RDN
Medically Reviewed by Vanessa Ling, ND, CNS
Reviewed by Brandy Bauer, Director, NCOA Center for Benefits Access
Fact Checked

Affiliate Disclosure
This content and its featured products and services were independently reviewed by a third-party, credentialed Reviews Team. If you make a purchase using the links included, our partners may earn a commission. NCOA, however, does not receive a commission for purchases.

Key Takeaways

  • Meal kits and prepared meals delivered to your address are a great way to eat healthy and enjoy a home-cooked meal without going to the grocery store.
  • Many meal kit services cater to people with special dietary needs or food preferences.
  • Affordable meal delivery options, discounts, and insurance coverage make this service an accessible choice for many older adults.
  • Using a meal kit can help you follow a healthy diet and get the nutrition your body needs, allowing you to spend less money and time at the doctor’s office.

Meal kit delivery services bring the ingredients for healthy, home-cooked meals right to your doorstep. You get one box each week filled with almost everything you need to make the meals you’ve ordered, along with cooking instructions to ensure you end up with great-tasting results.

In addition to convenience, meal kit deliveries provide well-balanced meal choices for just about every dietary need, new flavors to try, and the chance to expand your cooking skills. Some services also offer fully prepared meals for people who have a hard time standing to cook or simply don’t enjoy the task. 

With more than 60 meal delivery services to choose from, how do you pick the best one? We’ve researched and tested meal kits to help you make an informed decision. Read on for our Reviews Team’s top picks of the best meal kit delivery services on the market. 

A quick look at the best meal delivery services

Why you can trust our expert review

Our Reviews Team recommends products and services we believe provide value in the lives of our readers. We’ve spent more than 500 hours carrying out in-depth research on meal kit delivery services to give you the most accurate review. To make our selections, we:

  • Consulted with eight nutrition professionals to learn more about meal kit delivery services
  • Reviewed 60 meal kit delivery services
  • Surveyed 600 meal kit delivery service customers
  • Mystery shopped and tested eight meal kit and prepared meal delivery services 
  • Read verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot

How we chose the best meal kit delivery services

Based on independent research and consultations with nutrition experts, our Reviews Team has determined the following factors to be important when shopping for a meal delivery service:

  • Cost
  • Variety of meal choices
  • Diets for medical conditions or food allergies
  • Ease of ordering and meal preparation
  • Delivery area
  • Customer service

We had all of our selections reviewed by an expert in the field to ensure that each service is appropriate for our readers’ needs.

Table 1 Comparison of the best meal delivery services of 2022

Green Chef

EveryPlate

Blue Apron

Home Chef

Dinnerly

Mom’s Meals

Starting cost
(per serving)

$11.99

$4.99

$7.99

$9.99

$4.99

$7.99

Delivery fee

$9.99

$9.99

$9.99

$9.99–$13.99

$9.99

$14.95

Delivery area

48 states (not Alaska or Hawaii)

48 states (not Alaska or Hawaii)

48 states (not Alaska or Hawaii)

98% of the U.S.

48 states (not Alaska or Hawaii)

49 states (not Alaska)

Meal type

Meal kits

Meal kits

Meal kits, heat-and-eat meals

Meal kits, heat-and-eat meals

Meal kits

Heat-and-eat meals

Number of servings

2, 4, or 6

2 or 4

2 or 4

2, 4, or 6

2 or 4

1

Number of meals per week

3 or 4

3–5

2–4

2–6

3–6

Customizable

Diet/food allergy options

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cancellation method

Phone or email

Website

Website or email

Website

Website

Phone or email

App available?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Best Meal Delivery Service for Seniors: Green Chef

Green Chef meal delivery kit

Pros Mediterranean diet plan and other specific diet plans offered All ingredients are organic Most meals can be made in fewer than 30 minutes
Cons Higher cost than some other services Our Reviews Team found the portions were smaller than other brands we tested
  • Cost per serving: Starts at $11.99
  • Shipping fee: $9.99
  • Delivery area: 48 states (not Alaska or Hawaii)
  • Type: Meal kits
  • Number of servings: 2, 4, or 6
  • Number of meals per week: 3 or 4
  • Meal options: Mediterranean, Fast & Fit, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Keto + Paleo
  • Food allergy options: Allergens for each ingredient are listed on the recipe cards, but the website states that all ingredients are produced in a facility that processes milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. Recipe cards also state that the food is manufactured on equipment that processes products containing egg, fish/shellfish, milk, sesame, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts.
  • Cancellation method: Phone or email
  • App available? Yes

Part of the HelloFresh company, Green Chef provides certified organic meal delivery kits centered on six healthy diets that people often find complicated to follow at home. One of these, the Mediterranean diet, consistently ranks as one of the healthiest diets for older adults, making Green Chef our pick for the “Best Meal Delivery Service for Seniors.”1

A 2017 review in the journal Nutrition Today covered much of the research on the Mediterranean diet over the past two decades, finding it to be one of the healthiest choices for older adults. Some research has found that people who follow this eating pattern have a lower risk of several chronic diseases associated with aging, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.2

The Mediterranean diet, which is built around seafood, nuts, seeds, legumes, olive oil, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, is featured in many of Green Chef’s meals. With many of the meals ready in fewer than 30 minutes, Green Chef is a great choice for older adults.

Wanting to eat healthier is the No. 1 reason respondents gave for using meal delivery services, according to our Reviews Team’s July 2022 survey of 600 meal delivery customers. And they can indeed help you reach that healthier eating goal, says Sunui Escobar, RD, CDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

Meal kits can “ensure that you are eating a wide array of foods, which means you are more likely to be eating a wide variety of nutrients,” said Escobar. “When we grocery shop for ourselves, we can get into ruts and put the same foods into our carts. This can lead us to continue to eat some of the same foods over and over again. With a meal kit, you will likely be sent vegetables, proteins, herbs, and spices that you don’t always cook with or eat.” 

Ordering from Green Chef

Ordering meals is a straightforward process on Green Chef’s website. Just click on “Our Plans” on the homepage to see the options for servings per meal and number of meals per week (see figure 1).

Figure 1 Green Chef meal plans

meal plans from Green Chef displayed in a grid

You can also click “Weekly Menu” on the homepage to see a sampling of Green Chef’s meal offerings. 

After you select your meal plan, you will be prompted to enter your delivery address and credit card information. Then you can select your meals and modify them for your food preferences and diet considerations. 

Our experience trying Green Chef

Green Chef’s recipe cards include detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures, as well as nutrition information. Our Reviews Team also liked the detailed ingredient list provided on each recipe card, with a focus on food allergens. 

If you have a gluten sensitivity, Green Chef is a safe choice. Along with choosing the Mediterranean diet or other diet options, you can select meals that are gluten-free as well. 

Customer service

  • Phone: 1-888-236-7295
    • 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday 
    • 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET, Saturday and Sunday  
  • Website: Live chat available 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET, seven days a week

Payment options 

  • Credit card

Green Chef also offers hero discounts to first responders, medical providers, teachers, active duty military personnel, and veterans.

To cancel your subscription, call 1-888-236-7295 or email help@greenchef.com. You will need to provide your name and the email address you used to sign up for the service.

Among our survey respondents, 90% of people who subscribed to Green Chef enjoyed the taste of their meals. If you’re looking for a convenient way to follow a healthy diet for older adults, Green Chef is a service worth investigating.

Best Cheap Meal Kit Delivery: EveryPlate

EveryPlate meal delivery kit

Pros The least expensive meal kit delivery on the market Large portion sizes Printed recipe cards with clear, simple instructions
Cons Limited choices for people with food allergies Website not as easy to use as others
  • Cost per serving: Starts at $4.99
  • Shipping fee: $9.99
  • Delivery area: 48 states (not Alaska or Hawaii)
  • Type: Meal kits
  • Number of servings: 2 or 4
  • Number of meals per week: 3–5
  • Meal options: ClassicPlate, VeggiePlate, FamilyPlate, EasyPlate
  • Diet/food allergy options: Vegetarian and choice of proteins. Allergens are listed online for each recipe, but the website states that all ingredients are produced in a facility that processes milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. 
  • Cancellation method: Website
  • App available? Yes

EveryPlate ties with Dinnerly for the least expensive meal kit delivery service on this list. They both start at $4.99 per serving, but that price is for the highest volume of meals both companies offer (5–6 meals per week with four servings per meal). For smaller amounts, EveryPlate’s low cost wins out. If you order three meals per week, each serving two people, you’ll still pay just $5.89 per serving (compared to $6.39 per serving with Dinnerly). That’s less than the cost of a fast food meal and makes EveryPlate our Reviews Team’s top pick for “Best Cheap Meal Kit Delivery.”

You can choose from a menu of 18 meals each week, allowing you to pick your favorites or try new flavors. 

In addition to meal choices like Honey Ginger Pork Chops and Southwest Pork and Black Bean Chili, you may add extras to any meal kit order, such as: 

  • 6 ounce garlic bread: $2.99 for 2-4 servings
  • 10 ounce steak: $6.49 for 2 servings
  • Heat-and-eat 30 ounce mac-and-cheese: $7.99 for 3-4 servings

Most EveryPlate meals take fewer than 35 minutes to prepare and cook. Although you’ll still be spending some time in the kitchen getting your meal ready, the convenience of having all the ingredients you need is a time saver. 

Ordering from EveryPlate

Follow these steps to try out a meal kit from EveryPlate:

  1. Go to EveryPlate.com
  2. Click on the box that says “Select Plan.”
  3. Choose one or more meal options: ClassicPlate, VeggiePlate, FamilyPlate, and/or EasyPlate.
  4. Select your number of meals per week and number of servings per meal. 
  5. Click on the box that says “Select This Plan.”
  6. You will be prompted to enter your email address, delivery address, and payment information.
  7. EveryPlate will automatically fill your box with meals for that week.
  8. To change any of your meal selections, click on the box that says “Change Meals.” You’ll see the full list of meals available for that week. On the top row are the three meals already in your box with the number of servings you selected. To remove a meal, click the minus button until it says zero. Then you can select a different meal to add to your box. Keep in mind that some meals with certain ingredients, such as steak or shrimp, may cost more than the standard price. 
  9. With many meals, you can choose the type of protein you want. To do this, click on “Change Meals.” Meals that have several protein options will show them in a box at the bottom of the meal box (see figure 2). Click on the box, choose the type of protein you want, and then click “Save Meals.” 

Figure 2 EveryPlate meal selection

selection of different meals offered by Every Plate

You can also browse the meal selection without signing up by clicking on “Weekly Menu” in the top left corner of EveryPlate’s home page.

EveryPlate will deliver all of your meals for each week in one box on the same day of the week. 

It’s easy to skip weeks if you’re out of town or don’t want a meal delivery for any reason—choose “Skip Week” on the appropriate week date on the Meal Plan screen. EveryPlate does require meal or delivery changes to be made at least five days before your next scheduled delivery.

We didn’t have any problems canceling our subscription on the website. Just remember that the deadline for cancellation is also five days before your next delivery date. 

Our experience trying EveryPlate

Our Reviews Team tested three of EveryPlate’s meal kits, and we were impressed with their freshness and flavor. The ingredients arrived fresh and cold, with produce and non-perishable foods placed on top of a large ice pack and meats placed between two large ice packs underneath. Everything was insulated and padded inside the box as well to ensure food safety. 

Even after several hours of sitting outside after delivery, the food was still at a food-safe temperature. 

We noticed that one small item, a seasoning packet, was missing from our kit. This didn’t affect the final dishes, as we had the needed seasonings on-hand, but it could have been an issue had we not had them in our test kitchen.

We chose to make the Italian Sausage and White Bean Soup the first evening. Following the instructions, we chopped the onion and garlic. The collard greens were already pre-chopped but needed a bit more to make them bite-sized for the soup.

Even so, it took only three minutes to chop the vegetables and get them in the pot along with the sausage. This made for happy chefs, as the instruction card estimated 10 minutes for those steps. 

After adding the remaining ingredients and simmering the soup for 25 minutes, we had a delicious meal that rivaled anything we would have ordered at a restaurant (see figure 3). It was lower in fat, included more vegetables, offered more flavor, and was less expensive than a fast food meal as well. And EveryPlate’s portions are generous—each soup serving was a full two cups. 

Figure 3 Italian sausage soup made by our Reviews Team

Italian sausage soup in a white soup bowl with a spoon and napkin

Customer service

  • Phone: 1-973-210-4915
    • 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday 
  • Website: LiveChat available 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Payment options 

  • Credit card

For people who want a healthy, home-cooked meal at an affordable price and don’t mind doing a bit of cooking, EveryPlate is a good option. If you have food allergies or want a fully prepared meal, though, you may want to check out the other delivery services in this review.

Best Easy Meal Delivery Service: Blue Apron

the contents of a meal delivery kit box from Blue Apron with fresh veggies, meat, and herbs

Pros Using the website to order meals is quick and easy Some ingredients come already prepped Cooking instructions are clear and thorough, with photos for each step
Cons More expensive than some other services Not the best choice for people with food allergies
  • Cost per serving: Starts at $7.99
  • Shipping fee: $9.99
  • Delivery area: 48 states (not Alaska or Hawaii)
  • Type: Meal kits and heat-and-eat meals
  • Number of servings: 2 or 4
  • Number of meals per week: 2–4
  • Meal options: Signature (also called Chef Favorites), Wellness, Family Friendly, Fast & Easy 
  • Diet/food allergy options: Vegetarian, choice of proteins. Allergens and an ingredient list are included on the nutrition label for each recipe, but the website states that all ingredients are packed in a facility that also processes milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy. Blue Apron does not recommend its service to anyone with a severe food allergy.
  • Cancellation method: Website and email
  • App available? Yes

Blue Apron is commonly known as the beginner’s meal delivery service. With a simple website and easy-to-make meals, Blue Apron earned the well-deserved title of “Best Easy Meal Delivery Service” from our Reviews Team.

It’s easy to see why Blue Apron was the most popular meal kit service among our survey respondents. For people who have limited time or have difficulty standing in the kitchen to cook, Blue Apron makes things a bit easier. Some ingredients are already peeled, chopped, and ready to cook, and you’ll find a variety of fully prepared choices each week in the “Heat & Eat” section of the website. 

For the Heat and Eat meals, all you need to do is heat them up to enjoy a healthy meal in minutes. Most of Blue Apron’s meal kits are ready in fewer than 45 minutes, but many are faster at about 25 minutes. It just depends on how much time you want to spend in the kitchen. 

Speaking of time, convenience is one of the features people like the most about meal delivery services, according to our Reviews Team’s survey. Along with getting all of your meal ingredients delivered in one box each week, reducing food waste, and saving time organizing food in the pantry, we like how Blue Apron’s recipe cards keep the number of pots, pans, and utensils to a minimum. They often include directions to wipe out a skillet after cooking one part of the meal so you can use it for the next part. That will save you cleanup time after you eat—an added bonus. 

Ordering from Blue Apron

Ordering from Blue Apron is simple, and the company gives you control over your options. But while Blue Apron offers carb-controlled and Weight Watchers recommended meal options (called Wellness meals), there are only 3–4 choices each week in this category. And those meals are still pretty high in carbs, at 43–73 grams of carbs per serving for the week of meals we examined. 

If you have diabetes or need to watch your blood sugar for other reasons, be sure to read the nutrition label so you can account for the carbs. 

Our experience trying Blue Apron

Our Reviews Team tested several Blue Apron meals, including a Wellness meal. We found the ingredients to be high-quality, the cooking instructions clear and easy to follow, and the flavor excellent in every meal we cooked.

One thing we did notice was that a box with three meals for four people weighed 30 pounds, a heavy box to lift by yourself. One way around this is to unload the box and bring the ingredients into your kitchen in smaller loads. 

Steak and vegetables on a white plate

Customer service

Payment options 

  • Credit card

Blue Apron offers discounts to people over the age of 55, medical personnel, first responders, students, teachers, and active duty and retired military personnel. This is a nice starting discount (up to 13 free meals and free shipping on the first order, as of July 2022), but we found that of our survey respondents over the age of 45 who used Blue Apron, more than half of them stopped using the service due to the cost. 

The company’s name comes from the blue aprons worn by beginning professional chefs, giving a nod to Blue Apron’s mission of helping people learn to cook at every stage of life. If you’re somewhat new to meal kits or just want to try new flavors and pick up some cooking skills, Blue Apron may be a good place to start. 

Most Customizable Meal Kit Delivery: Home Chef

The various ingredients of a Home Chef box displayed, including vegetables and herbs

Pros Multiple options for customizing meals Gourmet dishes included in base meal price
Cons The Oven Ready dishes still require chopping and assembly before cooking Printed recipe cards have very small type Cooking instructions can be complex, even for simpler recipes
  • Cost per serving: Starts at $9.99
  • Shipping fee: $9.99–$13.99
  • Delivery area: 98% of the U.S.
  • Type: Meal kits
  • Number of servings: 2, 4, or 6
  • Number of meals per week: 2–6
  • Meal options: 11 choices that vary based on cooking time, ease of preparation, and calorie level  
  • Diet/food allergy options: Vegetarian, calorie-conscious, carb-conscious, soy-free, nut-free, and choice of spice level and proteins. Allergens are listed on every recipe, but the website states that all ingredients are packed in a facility that also processes milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy. Home Chef does not recommend its service to anyone with a severe food allergy.
  • Cancellation method: Website
  • App available? Yes

Home Chef offers meal kits with a wide variety of ingredients, flavors, spice levels, and difficulty levels, making it our Reviews Team’s choice for “Most Customizable Meal Kit Delivery.” With more than 25 meals to choose from each week and the option to select the proteins you like, our Reviews Team thought it was easy to find something for everyone’s tastes with Home Chef.

Home Chef meal kits are also available at a variety of grocery stores across the United States. Use the online locator to find a participating store in your area. This is a great way to try Home Chef meal kits out without committing to a subscription.

Ordering from Home Chef

When ordering Home Chef meal kits online, you can find the recipes for each meal by clicking on the meal card, then clicking the tab on the right side labeled “Recipe.” There you’ll find ingredients, cooking steps, and nutrition information (see figure 4).

Figure 4 Home Chef recipe card

menu selections from Home Chef

Our experience trying Home Chef

Our Reviews Team recruited friends to test several Home Chef meal kits (see figure 5). We were impressed with the freshness and quality of our ingredients for both recipes, Mojito Lime Shrimp Tacos (which we customized with steak strips), and Lemon and Chive Crema Salmon. 

Each meal kit was packed in its own bag, which made beginning our meal prep super easy. The oven-ready salmon dish also came with the two disposable oven-proof trays needed for cooking, so cleaning up after the meal was also quick.

Figure 5 Reviews Team preparing lemon and chive crema salmon

Two older adults preparing salmon in their kitchen

When it came to following the cooking instructions, things got a bit more complicated. First, we noticed that the recipe cards had extremely small print, making them hard to decipher even with reading glasses. 

The instructions also lacked consistency. At the top of the taco recipe, a note under the heading “Before You Cook” instructed us to wash all produce before using. In the salmon recipe, this reminder was in step one. We also felt that the way the steps were printed on the page didn’t follow a logical flow; we had to skip around to find each next step. 

The preparation and cooking times were accurate, though, and the seasonings and garnishes provided with both dishes made for an excellent gourmet-style meal that amply served four adults. Ultimately, we were happy with the end result of our lemon and chive crema salmon (see figure 6).

Figure 6 Lemon and chive crema salmon made by our Reviews Team

cooked salmon on a plate with creamy sauce and vegetables, next to the recipe card for the dish

Customer service

Payment options 

  • Credit card

After our Reviews Team’s testing session, we came to the conclusion that while Home Chef offers superb flavors and fresh ingredients, the recipes are not for beginners or those looking for simple, quick meals. 

But if you enjoy cooking and want the convenience meal kit delivery can offer, along with the highest amount of customizable options, Home Chef may be just what you’re looking for.

Best Meal Kit Delivery for One: Dinnerly

 

grilled chicken on a plate with fries and a fresh green salad

Pros Small orders available at a low price About 50 meals to choose from each week, more than some other meal delivery services Safe choice for people with food allergies or sensitivities
Cons Only online recipe cards provided
  • Cost per serving: Starts at $4.99
  • Shipping fee: $9.99
  • Delivery area: 48 states (not Alaska or Hawaii)
  • Type: Meal kits
  • Number of servings: 2 or 4
  • Number of meals per week: 3–6
  • Meal options: Healthy, Vegetarian, Family Friendly, Fast (under 30 minutes), and Special
  • Diet/food allergy options: Choice of spice level and proteins. Allergens are shown on the recipe card for each meal.
  • Cancellation method: Website
  • App available? Yes

Dinnerly offers quick, tasty meal kits and affordable prices on small orders, making it our Reviews Team’s choice for “Best Meal Kit Delivery for One.” With an extensive menu that rotates each week and plenty of meals that are ready to eat in fewer than 30 minutes, you can have a variety of home-cooked meals without getting bored or spending too much time in the kitchen.

Dinnerly keeps costs down by using only digital (online) recipe cards, simpler recipes with fewer ingredients (meaning less prep and cleanup), and simpler packaging. Dinnerly also offers add-ons, including desserts and breakfast items.

Ordering from Dinnerly

Our Reviews Team was pleased with the streamlined ordering process on Dinnerly’s website. Follow these steps to start an order:

  1. Click on “Get Cooking” on the Dinnerly homepage
  2. Choose how many servings per meal and how many meals per week you want to order
  3. Click “Continue”
  4. Enter your ZIP code (to ensure delivery availability) and email address, then click “Next”
  5. Enter your delivery address and credit card information to see your meal choices
  6. Fill out the taste profile to choose which meal types and spice levels you prefer
  7. Select your meals

 You can see a detailed table of every ingredient in every Dinnerly recipe, along with ingredient amounts and allergen information, by clicking on each meal card, and then clicking “View Ingredient Information” (see figure 7).

Figure 7 Dinnerly meal ingredients

Ingredients for a Dinnerly meal kit service

If you’re interested in a particular recipe and want to see the details, click on the meal picture. The full recipe will appear with nutrition information, the ingredients that will be included in your box, what else you’ll need to have on-hand (such as oil, flour, salt, or pepper), and preparation steps (see figure 8).

Figure 8 Dinnerly recipe card

recipe card for steak dish with all ingredients

Our experience trying Dinnerly

Our Reviews Team tested out two meals from Dinnerly: Ranch Steak with Broccoli, and Cheese Ravioli. Our box arrived on time, was well-insulated, and kept the food cold even on a hot summer afternoon. 

Since Dinnerly only provides digital recipe cards, we had to pull up the recipes on our phone to see which meal each ingredient was meant for. But the instructions, although not accompanied by photos like Home Chef or Blue Apron, were clear and easy to follow.

Each dish took fewer than 15 minutes to prepare (plus cooking time of 10–15 minutes), and we thought the taste was excellent. We found the ranch steak to be tough, even though it was cooked medium-rare as the instructions stated. But ultimately the dish was flavorful and attractive (see figure 9).

Figure 9 Ranch steak with broccoli made by our Reviews Team

delicious cooked steak on a white plate with a side of broccoli and drizzle of creamy sauce

 Customer service

Payment options 

  • Credit card

If you live alone or in a small household, you may not want to spend much time cooking elaborate meals for one or two people. Dinnerly is a great way to enjoy home-cooked meals with delicious ingredients and simple preparation at an affordable price. It’s also a safe choice for people with food allergies.

If you prefer printed recipe cards, though, or want higher-end meals that have a more gourmet touch, other services may be a better fit. 

Best Meal Delivery Service for People with Diabetes: Mom’s Meals

Mom's Meals meal delivery kit

Pros Dietitian-designed meals for eight chronic health conditions, including diabetes Healthy heat-and-eat meals at an affordable price Meal costs are covered by Medicaid and Medicare Advantage plans, in some cases No subscription required
Cons One of the most expensive services on this list No meal kit option for people who want to customize their meals
  • Cost per serving: $7.99 (Renal-friendly, gluten-free, and pureed diets are $8.99 per serving)
  • Cost per order: $79.90 (10 meals), $111.86 (14 meals), $167.79 (21 meals)
  • Shipping fee: $14.95 
  • Delivery area: 49 states (not Alaska)
  • Type: Heat-and-eat meals
  • Number of servings: 1
  • Number of meals per week: Customizable
  • Meal options: General wellness, heart-friendly, diabetes-friendly, renal-friendly, cancer support, pureed, gluten-free, vegetarian, and lower sodium
  • Diet/food allergy options: Can exclude meals with egg, fish, milk, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. Allergens and an ingredient list are provided on the nutrition label for each meal. 
  • Cancellation method: Phone or email
  • App available? No

Mom’s Meals is an Iowa-based meal delivery service that caters to older adults and people living with chronic diseases, including diabetes. Because Mom’s Meals offers carbohydrate-controlled meals designed by registered dietitians who are on-staff to answer questions and provide support, we chose this company as our pick for “Best Meal Delivery Service for People with Diabetes.” 

The diabetes-friendly choices include 25 meals that contain fewer than 68 grams of carbohydrates each. They’ve all been developed according to American Diabetes Association guidelines and are free from preservatives and artificial ingredients. 

Although Mom’s Meals is more expensive than most of the other companies on this list, its meals are covered by Medicaid and Medicare Advantage in some cases. If you are a Medicaid recipient, contact your state’s Medicaid office, ask your case manager, or get in touch with your local area agency on aging to see if you qualify for meal coverage. 

Medicare Advantage plans also pay for pre-made meals in some cases. These include for patients with chronic diseases and those who are transitioning from a hospital or nursing facility to their own home. Check with your Medicare Advantage provider to see if your plan will cover the cost of Mom’s Meals. In most cases, Medicare Advantage plans that cover meals will only pay for a fixed number of meals in a year or for a set period of time after someone leaves a hospital or skilled nursing facility.

What sets Mom’s Meals apart from other meal delivery services:

  • Refrigerated, ready-to-eat meals with no preparation needed
  • No subscription—you pay for your meals with each order. Your credit card will not be charged again until you call or go online to place the next order. 
  • Accepts Medicaid and Medicare Advantage
  • Wide range of breakfast choices, which are not commonly offered with other meal delivery services
  • No rotating weekly menus like other companies—every meal is selected from a large menu for every delivery. You’ll have the option of choosing different meals with each order, or, if you have a few favorites, choosing multiples of the same meal.
  • Medicaid- and Medicare-covered meals include 4 oz of powdered milk at no added charge
  • Menus vary by state according to each one’s Medicaid and Medicare Advantage programs. See sample menus here. Contact the Mom’s Meals Customer Care team at 1-800-972-9189 to get your state’s specific menu for Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, and self-pay options.

Ordering from Mom’s Meals

The Mom’s Meals website also provides detailed information for case managers and caregivers to set up meal orders for those in their care.

Mom’s Meals works somewhat differently than other meal delivery services in that there is no subscription. You select and pay for meals as you need them, in groups of 10, 14, or 21 meals. The meals arrive at your home refrigerated and will keep in your fridge for up to 14 days before reheating.

Our Reviews Team contacted Mom’s Meals to see if it was safe to freeze the meals in case you can’t eat them all within 14 days. The representative we spoke to was friendly and helpful. 

She said the meals can be frozen for up to three months. The company recommends thawing a frozen meal overnight in the fridge and then reheating it according to the package instructions within a day or two after thawing.

Caregivers and customers paying for their own meals can place an order in the following ways:

To order online and pay for it yourself, click on the Get Started button on the homepage and you will be directed to a page titled “Setup New Order.” There you can select your menu, desired meal types (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), the number of meals you want to order (10, 14, or 21), and whether you want to select your own meals or receive the Chef’s Choice options. If you choose Chef’s Choice, you can still change the meals before placing your order (see figure 10).

Figure 10 Mom’s Meals new order setup

new order setup for Mom's Meals

On the next screen, you will choose your meals from four columns: Breakfast, Beef, Poultry, and Vegetarian. Mom’s Meals makes it easy to get your favorites, too—you can choose a variety of different meals, or several of just a few meals that you particularly enjoy (see figure 11).

Figure 11 Mom’s Meals diabetes-friendly dishes

Diabetes-friendly dishes offered by Mom's Meals

If you need to stick to a certain carbohydrate goal for blood sugar control, click on “Nutrition Facts” at the bottom right corner of each meal card to view the number of carbs and other nutrients in that meal. You can also take a look at the Diabetes-Friendly Menu for an overview of the carbs in every diabetes-friendly meal. 

You can either order meals as you need them, or choose “auto ship” when you check out to set up ongoing weekly shipments. By choosing this option, you will receive:

  • 10% off future orders
  • The same meals you chose for your last order, unless you make changes by the Tuesday before your next week’s order 

Mom’s Meals also offers a 10% discount for veterans. We suggest ordering by phone if you’re a veteran to make sure you receive your discount.

To cancel an order, call 1-866-971-6667 or email info@momsmmeals.com

Customer service

Payment options 

  • Credit card
  • Over-the-Counter card: a prepaid debit card included with some Medicare Advantage plans that can be used to pay for over-the-counter products, including meals in some cases. Contact your Medicare Advantage provider for more information about this benefit.

The company’s website also has a blog with helpful information on diabetes and other health topics.

Mom’s Meals is a good choice for anyone with diabetes who wants nutritious meals that don’t require any preparation. The controlled portions and moderate carbohydrate content of the diabetes-friendly meals can help you follow a healthy diet and keep your blood sugar levels steady. 

Mom’s Meals isn’t just for people with diabetes, though. Anyone with a chronic condition like heart disease, cancer, or kidney disease who prefers the convenience of pre-made meals rather than meal kits may find that Mom’s Meals is just what they’re looking for. 

What is a meal delivery service and how does it work?

Meal delivery services bring the ingredients for a home-cooked meal right to your doorstep. All you need to have on hand are basics like salt, pepper, cooking oil, and flour; most meal kits provide everything else. Some of these services, such as Blue Apron and Mom’s Meals, also offer ready-to-cook meals you can simply pop in the oven or microwave. 

While the popularity of meal kit delivery services has been rising since they entered the U.S. market in 2012, the COVID-19 pandemic boosted their popularity quite a bit.3 As of 2021, meal kit deliveries were a $15.2 billion industry in the United States and are expected to grow to more than 33 billion by 2026.4 According to our Reviews Team’s survey, many people take advantage of meal kits to help them get a healthy, home-cooked meal on the table.

In general, meal delivery services require you to sign up for a subscription that covers the cost of the plan you select. Meal plans vary based on the number of meals per week and the number of servings per meal. 

Most meal deliveries ship the ingredients for all of your weekly meals on the same day each week. The services we tested sent emails when our boxes had been shipped, along with tracking information. 

Some services (such as EveryPlate) offer a flat shipping rate, while others, like Home Chef, calculate shipping based on how much food you order. Many services also offer the choice of add-ons to your meals. These are often foods like desserts, salads, bread, and extra sides.

Pros/cons of meal delivery services

Meal delivery services and meal kit deliveries are popular with both young families and older adults. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of using a meal delivery service.

Pros Cut down on your time grocery shopping, getting to and from the store, planning meals, and organizing ingredients for each meal Help you stick to a healthy diet, as meal kits are usually healthier than restaurant options and provide controlled portions Give you a chance to try new flavors without having to buy large quantities at the store Help you learn new cooking skills Add variety to your diet
Cons Some can be much more expensive than others Minimum order requirements may mean you end up with too much food Ingredients are selected for you Produce may not be as fresh

How to choose the best meal kit delivery service for you

When shopping for meal delivery services, keep your goals in mind. 

Look for healthy options

If, like our survey respondents, eating healthier or following a certain diet is your main reason for starting a meal service, look for one that offers lower-calorie or diet-specific options. Some companies like Green Chef also provide certified organic ingredients.

Even meals from companies that advertise taste or variety over health benefits can be adjusted to suit your healthy eating goals. For example, Sunui Escobar, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, advises adding extra vegetables to meals during the cooking process and cutting down on the amount of oil or butter a recipe calls for. She also said that if a recipe calls for sugar (like a salad dressing), you can decrease the amount used and often omit it entirely. 

Consider portion sizes

And as always, portion sizes are important for maintaining a healthy body weight. “Take advantage of the fact that meal kits are designed to give you a certain number of portions,” said Escobar. “If your meal kit gives you two portions from one recipe, share the meal with another person or save the second portion for a meal the following day.”

Stick to your budget

If you want the convenience of a meal service but also need to stick to a budget, look for an affordable company like EveryPlate or Dinnerly.

Factor in cooking time

Another factor to consider is how much time you want to spend on meal preparation. If you enjoy cooking and don’t mind the amount of time it takes to prepare a meal, but still want to save time grocery shopping and planning meals, consider a service like Blue Apron or Home Chef

Both of these brands provide a variety of meals and unusual ingredients that you might not normally buy, as well as recipes that are a bit more involved, taking 35-45 minutes to prepare. If you’d prefer to save time with simpler recipes, look at Dinnerly or Mom’s Meals for easy options that require little or no prep work.

How much do meal delivery services cost?

Even with the rapid growth of meal kit delivery services over the past three years, 84% of Americans say they have never used one of these services, according to market research from 2021.5 According to our Reviews Team’s survey, one of the biggest reasons people gave for not ordering meal delivery is cost.

Most meal kit delivery services charge $5–10 per serving, plus shipping fees, which run about $10 per order. This is less expensive than the price of most restaurant meals, even when taking fast food into consideration. 

Do meal kit delivery services accept SNAP benefits?

Unfortunately, meal kit services do not qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. 

You can use these benefits for some grocery delivery services, though. Check the USDA’s Food and Nutrition website for information on stores that accept SNAP benefits for grocery delivery services.6 And see our overview of SNAP benefits and how to apply.

How to save money on meal delivery services

If you’re interested in trying a meal delivery service but are concerned about the cost, read on for ways you can save money on meal kit deliveries.

Take advantage of promotions

The majority of meal delivery services offer promotions on your first several orders. Some also give new customers the chance to receive their order with no shipping fees. Because you can cancel or pause your subscription at any time without penalties, you can try a meal service for a few weeks at a lower price and then cancel if the full price is above your budget.

Look for discounts

Some meal kit delivery services, such as Green Chef, Blue Apron, and Mom’s Meals, give discounts to veterans, health care workers, teachers, and older adults. Check the website or contact customer service to find out if a service you’re interested in has a discount you qualify for.

Buy more meals for later

Ordering more servings per meal and more meals per week will lower your cost per serving. Even if you have a small household, you can cook all of your weekly meals and then freeze the portions you won’t be eating now to have quick, easy meals ready for reheating later. 

Just remember the following tips from the USDA for keeping frozen foods safe:7

  • Wrap individual portions and freeze them right away to prevent the growth of bacteria
  • Set your freezer to 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below
  • Try to get as much air out of the containers as possible to prevent freezer burn. You can do this by using freezer bags and squeezing the air out, or pressing a layer of plastic wrap onto the top of the food before putting a lid on the container.
  • Label each meal with the recipe name and date so you don’t forget what it is.

Heat-and-eat meals can be popped into the freezer before unwrapping, ready to thaw and reheat as you need them. 

Order meals every other week

Another way to save money is to skip weeks of your meal subscription. Every service we researched offers the option of pausing your subscription or skipping weeks. 

You can even skip every other week so you’re just getting meal kits two weeks out of the month. This will still bring healthy meals to your door and cut down on your trips to the grocery store.

Ask friends and family for gift certificates

Many meal delivery services offer gift cards that can be redeemed for pre-made meals and meal kits. These can be ordered through the website of each meal delivery service.  

Make use of meal delivery services covered by insurance

Mom’s Meals is one of the only nationwide meal delivery services that currently accepts Medicaid and Medicare Advantage. Homestyle Direct is another service similar to Mom’s Meals in that its meals are dietitian-certified, shipped to you frozen and ready to heat and eat, and available to fit the needs of people with different diet-related health conditions. Homestyle Direct is also approved to accept Medicaid in 24 states. Check the Homestyle Direct website for availability in your state.

Also, you may qualify for free meal delivery through Meals on Wheels. Older adults who are unable to pay for meal delivery and do not qualify for Medicaid-approved meals can apply to receive food from Meals on Wheels at senior centers or in their own home. Go to the Meals on Wheels website to fill out an application and find a provider in your area. And see our guidance on food assistance benefits for older adults.

Who can benefit from a meal delivery service?

Meal delivery services can be helpful for people in a variety of ways, depending on their stage in life.

For busy students, families with children, and older adults who are still working full-time and perhaps caring for aging parents or grandchildren, meal kits and prepared meals can be a great time saver. By cutting down on grocery store trips and meal planning, meal delivery services allow you to focus on your other responsibilities while still enjoying healthy meals with your loved ones at home.

Older adults who want to age in place may also find that meal delivery services fill an important need. Cooking can become a chore that you no longer enjoy, or maybe standing in the kitchen to cook is not possible due to strength or balance issues.

Meal services that provide prepared meals that can be heated up in the oven or microwave can be a great way to help you continue living at home while getting the nutrition you need to stay active and healthy.

If you have dietary restrictions or simply want to eat healthier, meal kits and prepared meals can be an easy way to help you stay on track. Services like Green Chef and Mom’s Meals are designed to help people follow the diet they need for their health concerns with a minimum of planning and meal prep.

Take a look at your food budget before committing to any meal delivery service to make sure meal delivery fits within your financial means. If you always cook at home and are able to get to the grocery store without a problem, you may not need a meal delivery service. If you eat out several times a week, though, this could be a great way to enjoy healthy, flavorful meals at a lower price.

Ways to simplify meal prep

Even without the convenience of a meal kit delivery service, you can make cooking and meal preparation easier by using the following tips:

  • Use kitchen gadgets: Food processors, blenders, and electric mixers all cut down on time spent chopping and mixing ingredients.
  • Buy prepared ingredients: While pre-chopped vegetables, nuts, and other ingredients are typically more expensive than their whole counterparts, if you have arthritis or other health problems that make it difficult to handle knives and other utensils, it can be worth the cost to purchase ingredients that have been prepped in advance. And by keeping an eye out for sales, you might find them at a lower price.
  • Make use of a slow cooker: While we often think of slow cookers and InstaPots for soups and stews in the winter, they’re a great way to get a healthy meal on the table year-round with a minimum of effort. Even if you live alone, cooking a large meal in a slow cooker and freezing individual portions will give you multiple meals with only one cooking and cleaning session. The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website offers healthy slow cooker recipes to get you started.

Bottom Line

While meal delivery kits and meal delivery services aren’t for everyone, they can serve an important purpose for many people. 

If you’re aging in place and want to continue enjoying healthy meals that meet your nutrition needs, but you don’t have the time or desire to spend hours each week on planning, shopping for, and preparing meals, a meal delivery service may be just what you’re looking for.

Our Reviews Team recommends EveryPlate and Dinnerly for the most cost-effective meal kits, while Mom’s Meals can serve an important role for people with chronic diseases.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about this review? Email us at reviewsteam@ncoa.org.

Sources

  1. American Heart Association. What Is the Mediterranean Diet? Found on the internet at https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/mediterranean-diet
  2. Romagnolo DF, et al. Mediterranean Diet and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Found on the internet at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5625964/
  3. Subscription Trade Association. The Evolution of Meal Kits and COVID’s Impact on the Market. Found on the internet at https://subta.com/the-evolution-of-meal-kits-and-covids-impact-on-the-market/ 
  4. Grand View Research Market Analysis Report. Meal Kit Delivery Services Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Offering (Heat & Eat, Cook & Eat), By Service (Single, Multiple), By Platform (Online, Offline), Meal Type (Vegan, Vegetarian, Non-Vegetarian), And Segment Forecasts, 2022 – 2030. Found on the internet at https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/meal-kit-delivery-services-market
  5. Statista. Frequency of ordering meal preparation kits among buyers in the United States in 2019 and 2021. Found on the internet at https://www.statista.com/statistics/1281661/meal-preparation-kit-order-frequency-us/
  6. USDA Food and Nutrition Service. Stores Accepting SNAP Online. Found on the internet at https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/online-purchasing-pilot
  7. USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Freezing and Food Safety. Found on the internet at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/freezing-and-food-safety

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