Pros and Cons
Options include pureed foods
Meals last up to 14 days in refrigerator
A few limitations on certain proteins
Inconsistent quality of vegetables
Sides are included but may cause confusion
Mom’s Meals is a refrigerated meal delivery service created to support those in need, such as older people, healthcare organizations, those who may require caseworkers, and individuals and caretakers. The meals, which are created by professional chefs and dieticians, tend to be geared toward individuals who are healing, recently discharged from the hospital, or trying to manage a health issue.
Meals are centered around wholesome ingredients and can accommodate various dietary needs, such as diabetes-friendly, gluten-free, pureed foods, and renal meals. We tried several recipes from Mom's Meals to see how they rank.
How It Works: Pick Your Meal Plan Based on Need
Mom’s Meals offers three different meal plans based on an individual’s need: Medicaid and Older American’s Act recipients; Medicare Advantage beneficiaries; and individuals and caretakers, which is a self-pay program for those without an eligible health plan or who do not require government assistance.
Depending on the menu you qualify for, you can call the telephone number on the menu plan, or, if you’re using the self-pay option, you can order online. Food is delivered and is refrigerator-ready, not flash-frozen, and can be stored in the fridge for up to 14 days.
Choosing Meals: A La Carte or Chef’s Choice
We tested a self-pay, individual meal plan. For the individual meal plan, you can select from the following meal preferences: general wellness, renal-friendly, diabetes-friendly, heart-friendly, cancer support, lower sodium, gluten-free, pureed, and vegetarian. Next, you may select breakfast or lunch/dinner meals with an option for 10, 14, or 21 meals. Lastly, you can choose to select your own meals or have the chef’s choice. We selected general wellness, focusing on lunch/dinner with 10 meals, and our own selection of meals. We then had an option to exclude the following items: egg, fish, milk, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. When selecting your actual meals, large filters at the top of the page include beef, fish, pork, poultry, vegetarian.
Each meal has a photo, an item ID number, and small icons relating to the types of dietary needs. A link to the individual nutrition facts is listed as well as a tool to add or subtract meals. As you add your meals, a bright orange icon on the upper right-hand side shows the number of meals you selected, making it easy to keep track of your 10 or more meals.
The options for our week included 11 beef options; one fish option (tuna casserole); one pork option (pork rib patty); five poultry dishes; and nine vegetarian dishes. Many of the meals featured protein or carbohydrate with a side of fruit or vegetables. We wished there were more seafood options.
The meals tend to be homestyle and comforting—lots of pasta with sauce, meatballs, meatloaf, chicken stir-fry, and some soups. We selected a mix of beef, vegetarian pasta, and several chicken and rice stir-fries. Mom’s Meals also offers pureed foods for those recovering from severe illness or surgery, or who have issues chewing and swallowing whole foods.
Mom’s Meals offers three different meal plans based on an individual’s need: Medicaid and Older American’s Act recipients; Medicare Advantage beneficiaries; and individuals and caretakers.
What We Made
We ordered the minimum amount of 10 meals, but our tasting panel only tried and tested the following five:
- Swedish style meatballs with creamy mushroom sauce, pasta, and seasoned green beans
- Chicken with creamy mushroom gravy, with brown rice, and seasoned green beans
- Chicken teriyaki with white rice and stir fry vegetable
- Corn chowder with peaches and cherries
- Macaroni and cheese with seasonal vegetable blend
Support Materials: Cooking and Preparation and Menu Catalog
Within our delivery box, we found a packing list, a nutrition list, and a non-discrimination letter, as well as a menu catalog and a flyer with information on how to store and heat meals.
All the meals are packaged in a food tray. Each tray has a unique meal sticker, which includes the company logo, name of the dish, microwave instructions, nutrition facts, ingredient list, and a QR code, which leads to the company phone number.
Packaging: Lots of It
The delivery arrived in a large cardboard box. The interior was packaged with a speckled black and white styrofoam-esque cushioning. Within the cushioning, we found informational materials and an insulated, silver foil-like bag. Inside the bag was another large plastic bag containing three non-toxic ice packs that can be thrown out in a trash bin, and our meals, which were packaged in a black tray and vacuum sealed with an individual meal sticker.
Each tray was divided with a thin piece of cardboard paper. Within the box, there were also individual cardboard holders, which held small snacks, like a cookie or orange. Some of these snacks were wrapped in plastic without any labeling, such as the whole grain roll or a mystery white cup (we guessed it was pudding). Other loose snack items came in preexisting branded packaging, such as the Dole mandarin oranges.
The Cooking Process: Easy and Precise Microwave Cooking
All meals were microwavable with cooking instructions listed on each meal tray. We didn’t encounter any issues with heating and all of our meals were cooked well without additional microwaving time. Most meal trays had to be punctured a few times and cooked for 90 seconds. Then the plastic film was vented and the food stirred, and the meal was cooked for an additional minute before resting for another minute.
The only issue we encountered was that nearly all of the vegetable sides were overcooked.
Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Not Bad for Microwave Dinners
Overall, our tasting panel had a pleasant experience with microwaved meals. The Swedish meatballs were pretty tasty. We liked the short penne pasta, and sweet, creamy sauce with tender small meatballs. The green beans were definitely mushy and could have used seasoning in general, but overall, we found the meal comforting and a nice dinner for a chilly night. Even the children on our tasting panel enjoyed this meal.
The chicken with creamy mushroom gravy appeared to have a similar sauce to the Swedish meatball sauce and tasted quite the same. We had difficulty cutting the chicken and weren’t sure if it was a patty or a breast. We probably wouldn’t recommend microwaving this dish. The green beans were again mushy and didn’t appear to be seasoned. We didn’t love this dish as much, but we didn’t mind the creamy sauce with the brown rice.
Our tasting panel observed that the macaroni and cheese was reminiscent of a frozen prepared meal. When inspecting the tray before heating, the cheese sat in a blob at the top of the pasta and looked creamy and processed. The vegetables were also reminiscent of a pre-made frozen medley. However, the macaroni and cheese was enjoyable when cooked, but we wished there was a sharper cheese used in the sauce, and that again, the vegetables were seasoned.
The corn chowder with peaches and cherries was also a hit. The chowder had nice chunks of fresh corn, potatoes, and green and red potatoes. It was sweet but not like a dessert. A splash of hot sauce or Tabasco could be nice with a few twists of freshly ground pepper. However, we found the peach and cherry mix to be way too saccharine. We also wished the side of fruit was simply cut up and not prepared in a gooey compote. The children in our tasting panel also liked this soup and side.
Our tasting panel enjoyed the chicken teriyaki. We found a lot of vegetables, including carrots, water chestnuts, baby corn, and broccoli. The rice was well cooked, as were the small pieces of chicken, and we liked the sweet teriyaki sauce.
The packaged sides reminded us of hospital food sides, but that makes sense as these meals are designed for those who may be recovering from illness.
Nutritional Value: Low Calories, High Fat
Most of our meals were 400 calories or less. We did notice relatively high grams of fat, but we also observed hefty grams of protein and fiber. But there was quite a bit of sugar added too; in the corn chowder with peaches and cherries, there was a whopping 42 grams of sugar and 29 grams of added sugar.
Below is the nutritional breakdown of our five meals:
- Swedish style meatballs with creamy mushroom sauce, pasta, and seasoned green beans: 480 calories, 26g fat, 8g saturated fat, 48g carbohydrates, 8g fiber, 11g sugar, 16g protein, 40mg cholesterol, 660mg sodium
- Chicken with creamy mushroom gravy with brown rice and seasoned green beans: 490 calories, 20g fat, 5g saturated fat, 52g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 10g sugar, 25g protein, 55mg cholesterol, 670mg sodium
- Chicken teriyaki with white rice and stir fry vegetable: 360 Calories, 8g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 58g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 18g sugar, 15g protein, 30mg cholesterol, 710mg sodium
- Corn chowder with peaches and cherries: 400 calories, 8g fat, 2g saturated fat, 74g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 42g sugar, 10g protein, 5mg cholesterol, 650mg sodium
- Macaroni and cheese with seasonal vegetable blend: 400 calories, 18g fat, 8g saturated fat, 46g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 0g sugar, 15g protein, 35mg cholesterol, 710mg sodium
We did notice relatively high grams of fat, but we also observed hefty grams of protein and fiber.
Mom’s Meals Is Good For
Mom’s Meals is good for adults or even children who appreciate comfort foods that are ready in minutes, or for someone recovering from an illness.
Mom’s Meals Is Not Good For
Mom’s Meals is not good for adults who enjoy the process of preparing and cooking organic, fresh meals.
Add-ons: None, but Lots of Snacks With Meals
We had a bunch of sides that we were a little perplexed by, such as pudding cups and juice boxes. The sides were all organized separately from the meal trays and were listed separately in the delivery packing list. However, when we consulted our original order in our email, we were eventually able to piece together what went with what.
It’s also important to note that when you’re selecting your meals from the main menu page, the title of the dish does not include the extra sides and snacks in the title. Rather, you must click on “nutrition facts” underneath each recipe icon, where a nutrition overview pops up and lists the whole meal. For example, on the recipe selection page, one meal title is listed as “mac and cheese and seasoned vegetable blend,” but when you click on the nutrition fact link, the full recipe reads “creamy macaroni and cheese and seasoned vegetable blend, mandarin orange cup and blueberry applesauce” on the pop-up page.
We didn’t come across any other add-ons, but you can choose to select breakfast meals in addition to lunch and dinner meals.
Customer Service: Easy to Connect via Phone
To contact Mom’s Meals, customers can use a phone number or a contact form. Five minutes after we placed our order, we received a friendly call from a company representative to welcome us. She wanted to verify our address and package drop-off arrangements, and some information about the auto program. She explained that the package may be up to 25 pounds, but there are handles, which we found helpful—especially if meals are getting delivered to people recovering from serious illness or older folks. She also outlined the gel packs, which can be reused or thrown out, and said the food can be placed in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. We loved that the customer service outreach was so organized and thoughtful. This really stood out.
When our package arrived, we noticed there were several snacks included on the packing list and in the package. We decided to investigate by calling customer service and were connected to someone in seconds. She was very friendly and explained that the separate snacks are actually a part of the meal, but are packaged and listed separately.
Making Changes and Canceling: Online Accounts Page and Customer Service
Since you can order from Mom’s Meals without having to have a subscription, we did not encounter too many areas where we’d have to make changes. If you do need to manage your account, you can log into your account and you’re immediately directed to a “Manage Your Orders” page, where you can review pending and past orders, update delivery dates and account information, and order more meals. You can also change your delivery date and delay deliveries by one week. We recommend calling customer service and speaking to a representative directly if you have other questions.
The Competition: Mom’s Meals vs. MagicKitchen.com
Mom’s Meals and MagicKitchen.com are two services that provide single-serving meals. Mom’s meals are refrigerated, while MagicKitchen.com's are flash-frozen. We found the food from Mom’s to be more appealing, with more precise cooking times and better flavoring than the MagicKitchen.com options.
Mom’s Meals is certainly not a gourmet meal kit for big foodies, but it’s a good option for microwaveable, comforting dinners that are ready in minutes and kid-friendly. While we didn’t love the vegetable and fruit sides, we found the proteins and main dishes to be well-prepared and flavorful for microwaveable cooking.
We spent numerous hours looking through 48 meal delivery services’ websites, ordered meals and cooked them at home, photographed the process, spoke with customer service representatives from the companies, filled out detailed surveys about each company and their meals, and wrote in-depth reviews and comparison articles. Our expert panel includes dieticians, chefs, and longtime food writers. The one thing they all have in common is their love and knowledge of food.
The criteria we used to evaluate each company included:
- The ordering process
- Meal selection
- Packaging and support materials
- The cooking process
- The flavor, freshness, and quality of each meal and ingredient
- Nutritional information
- Customer service
- Product Name Mom’s Meals
- Lowest Price per Serving $6.99
- Number of Diets Served 8
- Number of Recipes 28
- Delivery Area 48 states
- Serving Sizes Available 1