Home-Delivered Meal Line for Diabetes Patients
By Juliann Schaeffer
For many diabetes patients, mealtimes often present the challenge of balancing carbs, protein, and fat. and more people are facing such a challenge every day. With the total prevalence of diabetes at roughly 8% of the population, another 1.9 million adults are joining these ranks annually, according to data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet.
To take the angst out of meal planning for diabetes patients, a new line of fresh-made, home-delivered meals is available. Mom’s Meals, which delivers diabetes-friendly entrées to any address in the 48 contiguous states, started when the company founders saw a need to help aging moms (hence the name) or other family members recuperating after a hospital stay. The company evolved when it realized that patients with chronic illnesses could benefit from the meals, too.
“We started the company when we saw a need—and a desire—to help aging moms and dads, relatives living far away, loved ones recuperating after a hospital stay, or those with chronic diseases who may be struggling to care for themselves,” says Beth Burrough, Mom’s Meals partner. “Time after time, we heard stories about families facing these issues. That’s when we knew we needed to turn our idea into a solution for everyone who needed access to healthful meals that were both convenient and easy to prepare.
“At the time, our own moms needed meal support, and we found we couldn’t be there to prepare or bring fresh cooked meals regularly. That’s why we called our first product ‘Mom’s Meals,’” she adds. “We wanted to provide our own parents with the same fresh-made, delicious, comforting meals they used to make for us plus use some of their favorite recipes on our menu.”
To meet the specific challenges faced by those with diabetes, Mom’s Meals recently introduced a diabetes-specific meal line targeted at this precise clientele.
“Many people with diabetes, especially when they’re first diagnosed or are trying to juggle their job and family responsibilities, struggle or don’t have time to make every meal from scratch, measure every carbohydrate, and cook a meal for themselves and another for their family,” explains Dee Sandquist, MS, RD, LD, CDE, a dietitian for Mom’s Meals and certified diabetes educator.
Sandquist says the convenience that comes from a complete prepared meal solution that’s ready to heat and eat in the microwave in three minutes can be a huge help to those new to the disease who may be struggling with carb-counting aggravation or intimidation.
The diabetes line consists of 65 breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, all of which have 30 to 60 g of carbohydrates, consistent with recommendations from the American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the Academy).
“Each of our meals lists the specific carb count as well as the fat, sodium, and protein,” Sandquist says. “And in accordance with the Academy’s guidelines, patients can customize their meal choices according to recommendations from their RD and doctor.”
According to Sandquist, some of the most popular meal choices (carb counts added) include the Mini Pancakes With Turkey Sausage, Sliced Peaches, and Granola (55 g); Orange Chipotle Chicken With Spanish Rice & Roasted Rosemary Vegetables (56 g); and the Vegetarian Curry With Chickpeas and Brown Rice (47 g).
Meals are formulated with the help of Mom’s Meals’ RDs, a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef, and a food scientist, all who “work to ensure all meals meet the correct nutritional guidelines, while our chef and culinary team flavor and hand-craft each meal for optimal flavor,” Burrough says.
And because orders are customizable, encouraging customers to choose only meals that satisfy their tastes, Sandquist says, it increases compliance—a key issue for many newly diagnosed diabetes patients.
Placing Your Order
How does the process work? Customers place their order (anywhere from 10 to 21 meals) by visiting www.momsmeals.com or calling 866-971-6667. Orders are fresh-shipped to customers’ homes, anywhere in the 48 contiguous states, where they can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.
“People often ask how our meals stay fresh for 14 days,” says Burrough, who notes that the answer lies in the unique packaging “that extends the products’ life without using preservatives. The process reduces the food’s exposure to oxygen, maintaining its freshness for an extended period as long as the meal stays sealed and refrigerated.”
If customers have any meal-related diet questions, Mom’s Meals keeps a dietitian and certified diabetes educator on hand to deal with such nutritional inquiries.
“With Mom’s Meals, there’s no shopping, chopping, cooking, or cleaning,” Burrough says, adding that this allows diabetes patients or those with other health concerns to have more time to live their lives to the fullest.
Do you have patients whom you feel might benefit from such a meal plan? Mom’s Meals also offers gluten-free, vegetarian, and heart-healthy choices as well as a line of meals for those with kidney disease.
“Our meals also can be used for those individuals who simply want convenient, healthful meals on hand so they don’t have to cook every day or want to ensure they’re eating nutritious meals,” Burrough says.
— Juliann Schaeffer is an associate editor at Great Valley Publishing Company and a frequent contributor to Today’s Dietitian.