Can we all agree that 2021 will present its fair share of challenges for seniors, but it’s also coming with opportunities! Since older adults are spending more time indoors and social distancing, top companies like SunBasket and GreenChef have responded with amazing weekly meals of organic ingredients even though the food isn’t prepared in a gluten-free kitchen, it could be some cross-contamination.
Seniors are embracing food delivery at record-breaking rates. A recent study found that one-in-four seniors have ordered groceries or food delivery in 2020, a sharp increase from 2019. Food delivery has become more accessible and popular than ever with aging adults, why not try it out! With just a few clicks on your smartphone or computer, you can get healthy food delivered to your doorstep.
Some adults want to embrace gut health, beat bloating, or avoiding hidden intolerances and food allergies.
During the pandemic, we reviewed many of the meal delivery services to find options for our friend Sandy who we are caregivers. Sandy has mobility issues, she uses a walker because her mobility scooter was stolen, she can’t possibly get down her stairs to her kitchen and fridge by herself, so she depends on us to grocery shop for her and even prepares some meals for her.
Sandy is in her 70s and she is on a gluten-free diet, when we met, I had never known anyone to have a sensitivity to gluten, but we quickly learned about gluten-free bread and pasta and Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies.
We even started eating gluten-free pasta at home, and the kids love it.
Like most aging-adults, Sandy wants to remain at home as she grows older and meal delivery services provide that independence for her.
If you are feeling ill after you eat, you should talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to consult you on a wellness plan and this would help you decide on your weekly menu choices.
If you’re anything like her, you should check out these top gluten-free meal services for seniors below and also this post about general meal delivery for seniors.
A quick look at the Top 12 Gluten-Free Meal Delivery Services for Seniors.
- Fresh n’ Lean >
- Martha & Marley Spoon >
- Freshly >
- BistroMD >
- Silver Cuisine >
- Purple Carrot >
- Trifecta >
- Home Chef >
- MagicKitchen >
- Once A Month Meals >
- Miracle Noodle >
- Cook Smarts >
What is a Gluten-Free Diet?
A gluten-free diet is an eating plan that focuses on eating clean whole foods and eliminating gluten, a protein found in whole grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Some seniors follow a gluten-free diet because they have celiac disease, a condition where Gluten triggers white blood cells to attack the small intestine’s lining.
A person can be on a gluten-free diet and still eat gluten-free grains, including quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, sorghum, tapioca, millet, amaranth oats.
Consume gluten-free foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, beans, legumes, and nuts in their unprocessed form.
Did you know eggs, unprocessed meats, fish and poultry, and low-fat products are also gluten-free? Some products that typically have wheat in them, such as bread and cookies, are made with other grains to be gluten-free.
Over the last decade or so, the idea of going “gluten-free” has become very popular, especially since the recognition of individual sensitivities and allergies to certain foods.
One of these foods is Gluten, a protein known as prolamins (primarily glutenin and gliadin). These proteins are in many cereal grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Every grain has a different amount of Gluten and other proteins.
Surprisingly, you’ll found it in most bread, cereals, pasta, and many processed foods.
Some people have a hard time digesting Gluten, especially people with celiac disease, a medical condition when you get sick from eating Gluten. Celiac disease is a hereditary, autoimmune intestinal disorder that’s triggered by eating Gluten. Your gut mistakes the protein as a foreign intruder; this causes inflammation and damage to your intestines.
What is Celiac Disease?
This autoimmune disease affects only 1% of the population worldwide. The “threat” of Gluten causes your body to overreact and attack the Gluten; the attack also damages surrounding areas like your gut wall, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies, severe digestive issues and anemia, and other harmful diseases. It is tough to diagnose celiac because the symptoms are common to many other medical conditions.
Symptoms of Celiac Disease include:
- Rashes and other skin problems
- Weight Loss
- Bloating and gas
- Diarrhea and constipation
People who have this condition should avoid Gluten, celiac is diagnosed with a series of blood tests, genetic tests, and removing the Gluten from the diet to see if they improve. You could also have an endoscopy or a biopsy of tissue inside your intestines to check for inflammation.
Suppose you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease. In that case, you should consider meeting with a dietician specializing in gluten-free diets to ensure that you closely follow the diet and make it a lifestyle.
Besides celiac disease, some people have severe allergies to Gluten, while some 18 million Americans report having some sensitivity to Gluten.
This study in 2015 found that 86% of patients who thought they were sensitive to Gluten were not. Maybe attribute this to the placebo effect.
Seniors who want to avoid Gluten will need to read all labels to see if the product has Gluten. The Celiac Disease Foundation reports that food like candies, potato chips, lunch meats, French fries, soups, salad dressing, marinades, processed foods, preservatives, and even communion wafers, and herbal and nutritional supplements could contain Gluten.
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
People classified as having a non-celiac gluten sensitivity do not test positive for celiac disease or a wheat allergy; this affects only 0.5-13% of the population.
The symptoms are similar: stomach pain, bloating, changing bowel movements, tiredness, eczema, or rash.
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is a controversial subject; some experts believe this sensitivity exists, and some think it’s in the patient’s head.
A group of doctors performed a study on 35 people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The participants were given both gluten-free flour and wheat-based flour separately without identifying them. They discovered that only two-thirds of the people could not tell the difference between gluten-free flour and wheat-based flour. Nearly half had worse symptoms after eating the gluten-free flour.
Also, these symptoms could be other irritants like FODMAPS – short-chain carbohydrates that cause digestive problems.
Some evidence like this shows that gluten-sensitivity exists.
If you’re on a budget, you may find that gluten-free products are more expensive than other products that may contain gluten. Of course, the convenience of having meal prep and grocery shopping done for you is worth the trade for some adults. The pricing is based on the number of meals and the number of people being served, dietary restrictions, meal types, and other factors.
Compare the Most Popular Gluten-Free Meal Delivery Services for Seniors
Every week you can choose from 29 weekly recipes. Just pick the meal kit plan that you like, select your meals. Marley Spoon will send pre-portioned ingredients with 6-step recipes. They send your meals in an insulated box, so it stays cold.
The two-person box is six meals priced at $6.82 per serving and $8.99 Shipping, which comes to $90.87 weekly. Feel free to skip any week anytime; you manage the account online and the delivery schedule.
Seared Steak & Lemony Herb Salsa with Roasted Potatoes & Carrots
The seared steak meal kit has all the ingredients, including a 10 oz sirloin steak, garlic, cilantro, parsley, beef broth, one bag of carrots, and two potatoes. You’ll have to spend 30-40 minutes preparing this easy to make a low calorie, dairy-free meal with step-by-step instructions. The nutritional facts are 630 calories, 30g of fat, 40g of carbs. See Menu
The Gluten-Free meals from Freshly are prepared with high-quality proteins and healthy fats, choosing low glycemic carbohydrates instead of over-processed ingredients, sugars, and artificial sweeteners.
All of the meals are ready-made, free of refined sugars and between 300 and 650 calories each, and certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group. Freshly offers subscription plans with 4,6,10, or 12 meals per week, and you can choose which meals you like from their rotating menu. They feature over 35 gluten-free options every week. They price the meals around $8.49 to $11.49 every meal, depending on the plan you choose. Their gluten-free food service will deliver your chosen meal options throughout the continental U.S.
Wholesome Chicken Sauté Bowl Pad Kee Mao Sauce320 Calories, Dairy-Free, High Protein, Gluten-FreeSeared diced chicken thigh with red bell peppers, creamy pinto beans, broccoli, fire-roasted mushroom spicy pad kee mao sauce, and green chickpeas. 29g carbs, 12g total fat, 23g protein. See Menu
A dietician designs Their Gluten-free meals in line with the criteria on celiac.com list to be healthy and free of gluten in the ingredients, but they are not certified gluten-free.
The items on the a la carte menu come sold in pairs; you can purchase meals individually.
A gluten-free Meal bundle for two adults is $167.99.
- Beef Bourguignon, Magic Mashed Potatoes
- Salmon Caponata, Fresh Cut Corn Medley
- Chicken Ana Luisa (RC), Polenta with Spinach & Roasted Peppers
- Smoked Boneless Pork Loin, Vegetable stew
- Desserts – Panna Cotta – Double serving.
Right now, they are offering 10% off your first purchase. See the Menu
All meals are tested to the FDA gluten for standard (20 ppm or less) and do not contain wheat, rye, or barley. They have chefs and dietitians create their meals with fresh, natural ingredients.
Silver Cuisine has over 90 gourmet meals on its menu.
These portioned controlled meals are ready to heat and eat when delivered to your door!
Bacon and Potato Egg Scramble
Delicious uncured bacon, roasted red-skinned potatoes, and scrambled eggs with brown sugar-sweetened cinnamon apples on the side. Cheddar cheese with green onion. Contains egg and milk.
Two hundred fifty calories per serving, 9g of fat, 380mg sodium, 24g of carbs, 19g of protein. See the menu
BistroMD has registered dietitians on staff creating the choice of 150 meals weekly. The meals BistroMD offers are all Gluten-free contain no aspartame, never freeze-dried, not shelf stable, have no trans fats, and hold to the FDA standard – no wheat, rye, or barley.
BistroMD has a complete no-commitment auto-delivery program that includes seven breakfasts, seven lunches, six dinners for a special promo price of 25% off + free shipping with $142.46 for your first week. You can decide to go with a 5-day program instead. Membership includes custom plan creation and unlimited coaching from a dietician.
You get pre-portioned fully prepared meals designed by a bariatric specialist to promote weight loss that you can heat and eat.
Chicken Marsala has 290 calories, 630 mg of sodium, 5g of fiber, 30g of protein, and 10g of fat. See the Menu
You can plan and schedule weekly plans up to 5 weeks in advance, perfect for caregivers who want to make sure they handle mealtime. Home Chef features select gluten-free options with full ingredient lists for each meal. Wheat must have a label in the allergens listings; you can find Gluten in other grains, so carefully check the ingredient lists to ensure the meal is gluten-free.
Every Monday, you’ll get an email with 20+ choices of meal kits and prepared meals. They deliver coast-to-coast, and the dinners start at $6.99 per serving; shipping is extra. Their oven-ready meals are simple – pop it in the oven.
Italian Sausage and Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Baked Orzo
Warning: Contains milk and wheat.
This meal kit serves two people and comes complete with marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella, orzo pasta, light cream cheese, sun-dried tomato pesto, red onion, red bell pepper, and Italian pork sausage links.
The nutritional facts for each serving are 803 calories, 87g of carbohydrates, 34g of fat, 40g of protein, and 1654mg of sodium.
Fresh n’ Lean offers new menus weekly of fresh and organic meals ready to heat and eat. The meals are 100% gluten-free and made in a gluten-free facility, reducing the risk of cross-contamination, and added sugars, processed ingredients, artificial flavors, GMOs, dairy, or animal products.
Meals start at $9.33 per meal depending on the plan, which provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, or you can choose extra meals or snacks a la carte. Fresh N’ Lean is currently offering a promotion with $20 off and free delivery on your first order with free shipping.
The Keto Ultimate Bison Burger has 460 calories, 28g of protein, 34g of fat, and eight net carbs. The meal features grass-fed bison patty, kale, tomato, cremini mushroom, spaghetti squash, cheddar cheese, almonf=d butter, and no antibiotics contain tree nuts and milk. It comes pre-made ready to heat, and eat in 2-3 minutes. See the menu
Purple Carrot offers all plant-based and vegan meal kits with fresh ingredients and step-by-step instructions, snacks like oat chocolate mint bars made with raw cacao, and prepared meals. You can get lunch and breakfast kits. The dinner meals are $12.99 per serving. Even though Purple Carrot is not certified gluten-free, its founder is a former pharmaceutical executive who also developed Crohn’s disease. You can try the service with a $25 discount on your first box
Sample Meal Kit
Plantain Black Bean Bowls with Apple Fennel Slaw & Lime Crema. The meal features vegan mayo, cilantro, brown rice, black beans, fruit, Gluten-Free, soy-free, nut-free, high protein. It takes 40 minutes to prepare this meal with 720 calories, 18g of fat, 120g of carbohydrates, and 22g of protein See the menu
They design meal plans so that you can plan and cook and freeze, then thaw them in the fridge.
Their membership includes a grocery shopping list that calculates the amount of each ingredient needed for the meal, organizes the products and produce by category, lists items in ounces since that’s how they appear at the store, separates the ingredients needed immediately, and for serving and eating.
You can upload your list straight to Instacart for easy pickup and delivery! You can sign-up for a free mini-meal plan with three recipes and a shopping list, recipe cards, labels, and more.
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Pork Paprikash – Dump and Go Dinner
This meal is a particular gluten-free version of Pork Paprikash with spices, crimini mushroom, bell pepper, garlic clove, onion, spaghetti.
This meal kit makes four servings of 1 cup of pork and 1 cup of spaghetti, 592 calories, 17g of fat, 92mg of sodium, 68g of carbs, and 45g of protein. See the menu
You can choose a meal plan; the delicious meals have no gluten, no soy, no dairy, and non-GMO with no sugar, high protein, and nutrient-dense. Trifecta Nutrition uses organic produce, free-range chicken, grass-fed bison, grass-fed beef, wild-caught seafood, wild-caught fish that you can choose from, along with your choice of carbs, veggies, snacks. You custom choose your meals; which includes vegetarian their chefs cook your dishes from scratch and send me the meals throughout the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, with free shipping. With two meals a day for seven days, 14 meals cost $14.99 each for $209.86/week
Turkey Patty, Brown Rice, Mixed Vegetables Meal See the menu
Miracle Noodle Organic Spaghetti
Organic Shirataki Spaghetti, with only five calories per serving and one net carb. No bloating, with no energy crash, combined with a low-sugar sauce and fresh low-starch veggies to complete a healthy meal. They only take a few minutes to cook versus 15 minutes for traditional noodles. See the menu
12-Pack Ultimate Variety Sampler – $43.99
The sampler has all the best-sellers included. You can duplicate your favorite recipes with these noodles and pasta.
It’s easy to make dishes like Capellini Pomodoro, Angel hair, Asian stir fry, and Spinach pesto.
Try these low-carb, low-calorie alternatives. Comes with Angel hair, Spinach Angel Air, Ziti, Rice, Organic Fettuccine, Japanese Curry, Thai Tom Yum, Ready to Eat Pad Thai, Ready to Eat Green Curry.
The noodles will pick up the flavor of the sauces you use with an “al dente” or tender but somewhat firm texture. See the menu
Do you still enjoy cooking but struggle coming up with recipe ideas? CookSmarts provides complete meal plans, all meals have a gluten-free option, with step-by-step guides and infographics.
They offer a free trial so that you can test out the meal plan features.
This meal plan membership is different from meal kits; you get to control the ingredients entirely.
You don’t get meals shipped to your home. You or your caregiver prepares them for you.
Chipotle Guacamole Burger with Smoky Paprika Sweet Potato Fries
Comes with creamy avocado guacamole on a spicy chipotle burger patty served with a side of crispy sweet potato fries. You can choose a gluten-free bun. See the Menu