Meal kits for seniors with dietary restrictions: Gluten-free, low-sodium, and more

A shot of a happy elderly couple enjoying a healthy lunch together outside.

Yuri Arkers/Getty Images

A healthy diet is important at any age, but sometimes new nutritional needs arise with aging. In a perfect world, we could eat whatever we want without consequence, and this would be a very short article. Since it isn’t, let’s talk about it. Keep things fresh and healthy.

Avoiding certain foods—say, savory dishes that contain gluten or dairy—can often apply to older people. Healthy lifestyle. A nice home-cooked meal is the healthiest option when dinner time rolls around, but let’s be honest: sometimes, it’s more trouble than it’s worth (even when it’s be too much).

That’s where meal kits come in.. Delivery services that ship pre-portioned ingredients, or whole, pre-prepared meals directly to your door, can change how older adults deal with dietary limitations.

Jennifer May, principle nutritionist and director of Sydney City Nutritionist and Food Intolerance of Australia, lays out some of the most important elements of a good meal kit for a restrictive diet. “[Look] for key words like ‘gluten-free,’ ‘low sodium,’ or ‘all natural,” says May.

Most meal kit companies label meals to make it easy to find the right recipes. The more variety in a meal kit company, the likelier you are to find specific labels (think vegan, keto-friendly, low-carb or low-sugar).

Then, take it a step further.

“After checking that it meets this goal, your next step should always be to check the ingredients and nutritional values” — and, luckily, meal kit companies have excellent reputations for making this step easy and simple. So you can trust and verify with confidence.

We put together a list of our favorite senior-friendly meal kits based on these nutritional goal posts. We also double-checked individual recipes to see what they had listed, what customization options are out there, and more. 

Top five meal kits for seniors with certain dietary restrictions

It’s important to know what healthy nutritional requirements look like for seniors; our bodies (and what they need to stay healthy) change over time. With that in mind, here are our picks for the best senior-friendly meal kits for different diets.

The best meal kit delivery services support plenty of eating habits. Kits that cater specifically to seniors (either with select meal plans or through their entire menus) are no different.

The meal kits we settled on as best for senior-friendly diets have a few things in common: A ton of variety of meal types (such as fresh or frozen) and the flexibility to work with any kind of restriction.

Best meal kit for any diet: SunBasket

Orange chicken over brown rice with carrot-apple salad
Orange Chicken over Brown Rice with Carrot-Apple Salad SunBasket

One of the most recognizable names in healthy meal kit delivery services, SunBasket is the perfect place to start for healthy recipes that cater to certain diets. Its wholesome dishes are made of USDA-certified organic ingredients, and any meat or poultry comes from farmers and ranchers that work directly with SunBasket.

For seniors who need to stick to a diet, there are plenty of clearly labeled recipes to choose from with SunBasket. You can find keto-friendly meals that are quick and easy to prepare, such as the Catalan Chicken with Green Romesco and Spanish Green Beans.

Seniors who want to avoid dairy or soy can select such enticing dishes as the Steaks the Chimichurri and Harissa-Roasted Sweet Potatoes. That dish is also paleo-friendly and free of any gluten.

SunBasket’s weekly menu provides helpful tags with each recipe that can make it easy for seniors to navigate to the food they want. There are tags for speedy dishes, spicy recipes, sugar-free or low-carb meals, and more.

SunBasket prices start at $12 per serving

Best organic meal kits for seniors: Green Chef

Salmon with Picata Sauce Roasted Beets and Bell Peppers, Roasted Bananas with Walnuts
Salmon with Piccata Sauce Green Chef

When it comes to organic meal kits, GreenChef stands out. It is a reliable source of nutritionally approved foods that meet multiple dietary restrictions. (Or, if we’re being fair, just dietary preferences.) It’s the first organic meal kit delivery service certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) Foundation.

Seniors looking for a healthy diet of whole fruits and vegetables will find plenty to eat, like the picture-perfect spicy chicken and broccoli stir-fry or the low-calorie cauliflower couscous bowls. Each quick and easy recipe comes with pre-measured ingredients for easy, breezy cooking.

Although its meal kits cost more than some of the other companies on this list, GreenChef is no stranger to savings. At the time of this writing, the company is offering an impressive discount of $155 on first-time orders, which will span your first five boxes.

This brings the cost per serving down to just $5 per piece, so don’t wait to see if GreenChef can save you money with their healthy and organic meal kits!

Green Chef prices start at $12 per serving.

Best meal kits for certain health conditions: Magic Kitchen

A close-up of a single serving of mac and cheese
A close-up of a single serving of mac and cheese Magic Kitchen

Seniors who are tired of limited options are in luck with Magic Kitchen. This meal kit company puts older adults first with home-style frozen meals that require nothing at dinnertime: just heat your dish (in the microwave or oven, dealer of choice) and you’ll be sitting down to eat in no time. All

Thanks to Magic Kitchen’s unique flex subscriptions, seniors don’t have to worry about complicated meal plans that are difficult to stick to. They simply call a representative with Magic Kitchen to discuss dietary preferences, health needs and how many meals will be sent each month. Shipping is free and you pay as you go, making Magic Kitchen a great choice thanks to its reliable customer service.

There are many main courses, soups, side dishes, and desserts that can be combined for each order. A full meal usually comes with a main course and two sides, but there are many other options to consider: Older adults looking for a one-time meal can order à la carte, while That other persons serving food to more than one person at the dining table may choose. For family-sized portions.

Magic Kitchen prices start at $5 per serving.

Best Plant-Based Meal Kits for Seniors: Awesome spoon

Vegan Chicken Parm Dish with Red Lentil Pan and Green Beans
Vegan Chicken Parm Dish Awesome spoon

Splendid Spoon is a health-focused meal kit delivery service that offers dozens of plant-based meals. Each recipe offers a healthy mix of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, making it an ideal choice for older adults (and anyone, really) who wants to switch to healthier eating.

Whether it’s being prepared right out of the box (and ready in minutes, at that!) or refrigerated for use throughout the week, every meal is satisfying and nutritious. Along with dishes like a roasted tomato risotto dish and creamy butternut squash noodles, you can also find hearty soups, stews and grain bowls.

Splendid Spoon also offers smoothies that are as delicious as they are healthy. Add a Blue Magic Smoothie with Dates and Cinnamon to your order as an extra treat, or get your daily dose of fruit with the Exotic Pineapple Passion Fruit Smoothie with Sea Buckthorn Berries and Tocos.

With prices starting at $9 per serving, Splendid Spoon can be more budget-friendly than other meal kits that are entirely plant-based. It also offers a number of different plan options to choose from. Interested in ordering breakfast and lunch options along with your weekly dinner recipes? Want to fill your fridge for the week with soups, grain bowls, smoothies and more? Awesome Spoon has you covered.

Spectacular spoon prices start at $9 per serving.

Overhead view of eight different single serving meals showcasing a mix of protein, vegetables and rice
Overhead view of eight different single serving meals showcasing a mix of protein, vegetables and rice Trifecta nutrition

Trifecta Nutrition offers meal kits with a lean lifestyle in mind. In fact, it has it all: a registered dietitian to help you with your eating goals, personalized meal plans tailored to your fitness aspirations, and even a Mobile app (Available on Android or iPhone) for tech-savvy seniors.

This meal kit company is a favorite among athletes, so there are few better choices for fitness-friendly meals. Trifecta Nutrition’s weekly meals are macro-balanced and divided into different diet-friendly plans: there are keto- and paleo-friendly options, as well as high-protein vegan and vegetarian options.

Trifecta Nutrition is perfect for seniors who are interested in sticking to a lean diet, so its weekly offerings are less about food types and more about meeting daily and weekly nutritional goals. Older adults looking for leaner diet options should start. Here.

Trifecta Nutrition prices start at $11 per serving.

How to Choose the Best Senior Meal Kit for a Restricted Diet

There are many things to consider when considering meal kits for a particular diet. You want a reliable meal delivery service that balances satisfying and exciting meals with plans centered around clean eating and healthy living.

The first step is to figure out your nutritional needs. Do you need to avoid certain foods? Are you interested in switching to a plant-based diet? Each meal kit company approaches dietary restrictions a little differently, so know your wants and needs before comparing different companies.


Here are some things to keep in mind when checking out different meal kits:

  • Preferences and Restrictions: If there are certain foods you avoid for health reasons, start there when comparing meal kits.
  • Substitutes and Alternative Recipes: Keep an eye out for meal kits that let you swap out default foods for plant-based versions. If you want to swap out the protein in a dish for a meatless alternative, for example, is there an easy way to do it?
  • Meal Plans: The best meal kit delivery service will have multiple options that cater to multiple dietary preferences and restrictions.
  • Organic Ingredients: Choose meal kits that advertise your meals as made with certified organic ingredients to ensure a healthy and nutritious meal every time.

Why meal kits can be a boon for seniors with restricted diets.

Following a restrictive diet can be difficult for anyone, but the struggle can be worse with older adults.

“If you’re a senior living on a restricted diet, it can be difficult to find delicious and nutritious foods that don’t contain gluten,” says nutritionist Reda Elmerdi. “Fortunately … there are many different gluten-free meal kit options available.”

Elmerdi lists some easy and tasty gluten-free ideas: Banana Nut Muffins, Vegetable Curry Rogan Josh, and Black Bean Burrito Bowls. The Green Chef has the ultimate black bean and corn burrito bowl recipe you can make. Try it todayAlso, there are many variations and similar dishes in vegetable curry josh (eg Coconut vegetable curry from Blue Apron). You can find more nutrition, fitness guidance, and general health expertise at Elmardi’s own website,

Another reason to consider senior-friendly meal kits, as listed above, is the variety of dishes to choose from. Seniors who live alone or who don’t (or can’t) cook for themselves can get tired of frequent meals and meals that all start to look the same, so switching it up with a meal delivery service can help. Things really come alive at dinner time. .

How We Compare Senior Meal Kits With Certain Dietary Needs

When taking a look at what each meal kit company has to offer, we focused on a few key things. Easy-to-navigate menus, a straightforward sign-up process (with wiggle room for order intervals and easy cancellation), and clearly indicated recipe ingredients were high on our list of priorities.

Some other important things we considered:

  • Variety: We’ve found meal kits that cater to all types of diets and restrictions, with weekly menus that offer plenty of satisfying recipes.
  • Organic Ingredients: Every meal kit company on this list is committed to shipping sustainably sourced, organic ingredients with every delivery.
  • Customer Service: Sometimes, part of the challenge of sticking to a diet is the process itself. We made sure to highlight companies that are easy to navigate – and more likely to offer a representative for extra help when you need it.

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