Freshly
Freshly is one of the many home-delivered meals available. (Photo: Freshly)

Commercial meal services are a good solution for seniors and others staying inside because their compromised immune systems make them potential victims of COVID-19.

Home-delivered meals were available before most Americans began staying home during the continuing pandemic. Now companies offering this option are sprouting up like spring flowers on my Facebook feed and emails.

From my research, commercial meal services are a good solution for seniors and others staying inside because their compromised immune systems make them potential victims of COVID-19. Some of those staying home may need help because they can’t easily obtain groceries, or they might not like Meals on Wheels.

Another candidate for meal delivery services is someone cooking more now because of Gov. Whitmer’s shelter-in-place order and the shuttered restaurants. This person (me!) sometimes wants a break.

I took a look at companies offering ready-to-eat meals because they’re an easier option than meal kits. In general, meal-delivery companies offer customers varied, high-quality meals. Payment is by a credit card on file, charged weekly, but customers may skip weeks or cancel at any time.

Freshly
freshly.com

Freshly offers the convenience of well-prepared, healthy, flavorful meals with no shopping, preparing or clean-up necessary. Customers choose from 30 chef-prepared, all-natural meals without artificial ingredients, preservatives and added sugars. Meals take three minutes in the microwave. The price per serving, $8.99, is currently listed on the home page for boxes of 6 or 9 meals. Shipping is free. Meals arrive in a recyclable refrigerated box.

Homestyle Chicken with Butternut Mac & Cheese from Freshly
Homestyle Chicken with Butternut Mac & Cheese from Freshly. (Photo: Freshly)

User Reviews: “Our monthly food bill has been cut nearly in half.” … “Freshly allows me to try new things.” … “Customer service is particularly outstanding.”

My comments: I’ve been ordering six meals a week for my ex-husband since January. Richard especially loves Freshly’s chicken meals. He said the dinners are “low in salt and very tasty.”

Factor
factor75.com

Choose from more than 20 dietitian-
designed options. Ketogenic, plant-based, low-carb or low-calorie selections are indicated. Four of the restaurant-quality meals cost $60 plus tax and shipping. Delivered in an insulated box, meals will stay fresh in the fridge for seven days.

Chicken with ginger beet noodles from Factor
Chicken with ginger beet noodles from Factor. (Photo: Factor)

My comments: I’ve received four Factor meals a week for a month. The food is delicious and filling. My favorites are chickpea stew with wild rice pilaf, horseradish-encrusted salmon and jumbo wild-caught shrimp. A con is that the packaging requires disposing of a non-toxic gel inside two ice packs after they melt. Factor’s customer service is good; I was credited for a late delivery and a mistake with some selections.

RealEats Meals
realeats.com

Za’atar roast chicken from RealEats Meals
Za’atar roast chicken from RealEats Meals. (Photo: RealEats Meals)

The meal-prep service ships its customers dinners and breakfasts made with responsibly sourced, seasonal ingredients. The chef’s three feature dishes change weekly while others rotate less frequently. The meals, ready in minutes, may be refrigerated for up to a week. Dinners start at $15 each for four meals. Breakfasts cost $5. Shipping is free on orders of $115 or more.

Magic Kitchen
magickitchen.com

Arriving flash-frozen instead of fresh, Magic Kitchen’s traditional meals feature family–sized portions of classic, hearty dishes. Specialized plans cater to low-sodium, diabetic-friendly or dialysis-friendly needs, to name a few. Customers may enter preferences to have meals selected for them or order a la carte. The Senior Meal, lower in sodium, consists of a main dish with one or two side dishes. Sliced Beef Brisket and Salmon Caponata are among entrees starting at $12 per serving. Meals come in packages of two and four.

Beef brisket from Magic Kitchen
Beef brisket from Magic Kitchen. (Photo: Magic Kitchen)

User Reviews:Portion sizes are small.” … “You may sacrifice some freshness for the sake of convenience.” … WeightWatcher Smartpoints for each item are shown online.

Personal Chef to Go
personalcheftogo.com

Chefs handcraft ready-to-eat meals and entrée salads. Pick 5, 8 or 10 meals, starting at $78 weekly. Delivered free to Michigan in reduced-oxygen containers, meals stay fresh for up to 12 days — the longest period I found. Its website has very appealing food photos.

Salmon Rockefeller stuffed with jumbo crab from Personal Chef to Go
Salmon Rockefeller stuffed with jumbo crab from Personal Chef to Go. (Photo: Personal Chef to Go)

User Review: Super-easy and great food.”

Clean Plates Detroit
cleanplatesdetroit.com

Headquartered in Ferndale, the meal prep company offers pickup or delivery of fresh, handcrafted meals. Choose a Meal Pack with 6, 8, 10 or 12 weekly meals. Meal Packs start at $79.74 for six meals up to $159.48 for 12. Clean Plates Detroit is working with local hospitals to provide meals for staff impacted by COVID-19.

Tofu mango bowl from Clean Plates Detroit
Tofu mango bowl from Clean Plates Detroit. (Photo: Clean Plates Detroit)

User Reviews: “A healthy, affordable nutritious option for busy people.” … “Great food and timely service.”

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