Frequently Asked Questions

    The Food

  • Do your meals contain GMO? Do you have GMO-free meals? (back to top)

    Currently it is impossible to guarantee 100% GMO-free foods due to the pervasive use of genetically engineered crops such as canola, soybean, corn, and wheat and lack of labeling requirements.  We aim to use fresh, local ingredients whenever possibleto ensure consistently high quality and the safest possible ingredients in our foods.

    How are you able to ensure food quality? (back to top)

    The culinary team at Meals to Heal includes two full time USDA inspectors who are HACCP-Certified. Their job is to ensure that the highest quality food safety procedures are being adhered to and that food is of high quality and free of harmful pathogens or bacteria.

    My dietitian has designed a meal plan for me – how can I use this to order my meals? (back to top)

    We can definitely work with a meal plan that has been designed for you.  Our meals have been preselected to help mitigate patient-specific side effects; however, you can select any meal from our database of meals that meets the meal plan designed by your doctor or dietitian.  We encourage you to work with your dietitian in selecting the meals that he/she recommends.

    What is the sodium content of your meals? (back to top)

    The sodium content in individual meals ranges from 100mg to 700mg. We strive to offer meals that, over the course of a day, contain 2400mg or less of sodium.

    Do you add preservatives? (back to top)

    There are no added preservatives in our meals.

    Do you use low glycemic foods? (back to top)

    A great deal of the Mediterranean Diet is low glycemic in nature. However, we do not have a strict low glycemic index policy.

    Do you use organic ingredients? (back to top)

    Some of our ingredients may be organic, however we are striving for a meal that is balanced from a macro and micro nutrient perspective that can help keep the cost of the service down. It is not always possible to affordably use organic ingredients.

    Are your meals kosher? (back to top)

    Currently, are meals have not been prepared in a kosher certified facility. We can however, offer kosher-style meals which would be free of shellfish and pork products.

    How do you develop menus that can be tailored for people with cancer? (back to top)

    We have worked with and consulted the expertise of chefs, registered dietitians and registered nurses who have worked at leading cancer centers or with many cancer patients.  They have, through years of practice, developed recipes that are appetizing and nutritious for people undergoing cancer treatment.  And, they have developed specific recipes that help mitigate common side effects experienced by people undergoing cancer treatment.

    Does Meal to Heal offer gluten-free or non-dairy alternatives? (back to top)

    There are individual meals in our program that may be gluten-free or dairy-free. However, we do not currently offer or guarantee an entire menu of that’s free of gluten or dairy. In the future, we plan to accommodate these dietary restrictions.

    How many calories do your meals contain? (back to top)

    The average meal contains approximately 500-600 calories, depending upon your meal plan. This equates to approximately 1800 calories/day excluding snacks.  As our meal packages include two snacks a day, total calories for a day ranges, in total, from 1800 to 2000 calories per day.

    How do I know that I am getting the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats? (back to top)

    All of our meals are consistent with recommendations of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and based on the dietary reference intakes (DRIs) compiled by the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board.

    What if I am losing weight and need additional calories? (back to top)

    Supplements such as Orgain, Ensure, Carnation, and Boost offer additional calories and nutrients. They are generally recommended by your physician or healthcare provider. We recommend that you speak with your oncologist and healthcare team if you feel that you are in need of a nutritional supplement.  We also recommend small snacks of healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables.

  • General

  • How much does your nutritional coaching service cost? (back to top)

    The cost is $20 per 15 minute increment.  There is a discount for 60 minutes at $75 for the hour.  Purchased time can be spread out over more than one session.  Please call us for more information.

    What is the difference bewteen your free access to CSOs and the paid coaching service? (back to top)

    We often help customers find local dietitians and help coordinate access to oncology nutrition services.  There are limits, however, to the scope of what we can offer “virtually” as we do not have access to medical records and lab work that would be required for medical nutrition therapy.  Instead, we offer guidance and advice for customers who order meals related to meal selection, side effect management and basic nutrition advice and questions.  The new coaching service involves scheduled sessions that will at help clients to evaluate their nutritional status and set appropriate goals during cancer treatment and survivorship.

    What is the difference between nutritional coaching and nutritional counseling? (back to top)

    Nutritional coaching helps you to evaluate your nutritional status and set individualized nutrition and health goals.  Nutrition counseling involves medical nutriiton therapy which can not be provided remotely or telephonically at this time.

    When should I start using Meals to Heal? (back to top)

    The best time to start Meals to Heal is at the beginning of your treatment in order to ensure that you receive enough calories to prevent weight loss which is common during cancer treatment. By signing up for the Meals to Heal program you will be certain to receive healthy, nutritious meals on an ongoing basis which is particularly important when the fatigue of treatment makes it difficult to plan, shop and prepare meals.   However, you can start the Meals to Heal program at any time during your treatment and we will work with you to ensure that you receive the proper amount of calories for your condition which may, in some instances and especially instances where you have already lost weight, involve recommending supplements in addition to our healthy, nutritious meals.

    What else can I do to maintain strong nutritional health during my cancer treatment? (back to top)

    Drink plenty of fluids, exercise, get enough sleep, rest when you need it, stay focused on getting enough calories to prevent weight loss which often times can mean eating numerous small meals during the day rather than three large meals.  In addition, many studies have shown the benefit of early and ongoing nutritional intervention such as counseling with a dietician experienced in oncology.  These professionals can help you manage your nutritional issues and develop different coping strategies as your needs evolve throughout treatment. They can also be very helpful in assisting you choose from our meal offering, suited for your specific needs.  It is important to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before implementing any nutritional recommendations.

    How long should I stay on Meals to Heal’s program? (back to top)

    Our program is designed to provide proper nutrition to patients before, during, and after treatment- to prevent and mitigate treatment specific side effects as well as for patients who have completed treatment and are seeking to prevent recurrence. It is up to you or your healthcare provider to decide how long you should stay on the program. The Mediterranean Diet has been shown to be helpful in preventing weight gain, which in turn prevents recurrence in certain types of cancer such as breast cancer and is, in general, considered to be one of the most healthy diets in existence today due to its general health benefits as well as those specifically related to heart disease, diabetes and obesity. To begin to feel the benefits of healthy eating, you should typically notice improvements within 2 to 4 weeks.

    Are meals healthy for people other than cancer patients? (back to top)

    Yes. Our meals are based on the principles of the Mediterranean Diet which offers benefits for everyone.  In addition, the Mediterranean Diet has been shown to be effective in preventing heart disease, diabetes and obesity, making it of particular benefit for people with those conditions.

    Do you offer meals that cater to children? (back to top)

    Not yet.  We’re definitely thinking about developing a pediatrics menu which will be highly specialized to the needs of children in general— as well as those unique to children with cancer.

    Can my caregiver/family order meals from Meals to Heal too? (back to top)

    Yes, our meals were developed with both patients and caregivers in mind.  They are based on the principles of the Mediterranean diet, which are not only delicious but offer significant health benefits to everyone, including people with heart conditions or diabetes, and are tasty and appetizing for the whole family.

    What distinguishes Meals to Heal from other food delivery companies (back to top)

    We have worked with chefs, registered dietitians and registered nurses who are experienced with cancer patients’ unique needs and side effects in order to develop specific recipes for cancer patients that can help them manage their nutritional side effects such as changes in taste, nausea and difficulty swallowing. In addition, our meals provide the proper calories and nutrients for cancer patients whose needs are generally greater than the general population.  With Meals to Heal, each patient receives meal recommendations that are specifically tailored to their unique diagnosis, side effects and treatment.   General food delivery companies do not have experience with cancer patients and are not in a position to offer such tailored recommendations.  In addition, their recipes, forumlas and services are tailored to weight loss and do not offer enough calories for the typical cancer patient.

    What is Meals to Heal? (back to top)

    Meals to Heal is a comprehensive online cancer nutrition resource that provides people with cancer and their caregivers safe, easy-to-use, time-saving solutions to their cancer nutrition issues. Our home meal delivery service provides meals that are healthy and nutritious for both patients and caregivers and require minimal preparation (“heat and eat”).  Our Cancer Nutrition Information provides access to leading, evidence-based information on cancer nutrition and related topics that relieve patients and caregivers of the time, energy, frustration and confusion associated with searching for and identifying safe and trusted cancer nutrition information.  We provide access to experienced and credentialed cancer nutrition professionals for nutritional counseling and answers to nutritional questions.

    Do you have customer support? (back to top)

    Customer support is paramount for us here at Meals to Heal.  Besides finding helpful information on our website, you can contact us by email or phone. Simply send us an email at info@meals-to-heal.com with your question and we will reply back within 1 business day.  Just indicate whether it is about the food, delivery or a nutrition question and we will make sure the right person is available to answer it.  If you want to reach us by phone, you can call our toll-free number, 888-721-1041, and leave a message, which will be returned within 1 business day.

    What if I want my dietician, oncologist, or other healthcare professional to see what I have been eating? (back to top)

    Coming soon!   You will soon be able to allow your healthcare providers to access your account so they can log in and see what meals you have ordered.  For now, you can go to the “My Meals” section of your personal account and print out what meals have been (and will be) delivered to you.

    Do you allow customers to provide access to their account to caregivers, oncologists, other physicians and/or dieticians? (back to top)

    Coming Soon!!! When setting up your account just indicate who you want to have access to your account and provide their email.  We will send them an email requesting that they set up their own account with permission to access your account.  Caregivers can even order meals for you if you are too tired or are not sure what to eat.  All account access is subject to a personal log-in and security code in order to keep all data confidential.

    What makes these meals healthy? (back to top)

    Besides following the principles of Mediterranean cooking, our program follows the healthy eating guidelines set out by the USDA.

    What are the benefits of Meals to Heal’s home delivered fresh, nutritious meals? (back to top)

    Our meals provide proper nutrition, including the right balance of calories and nutrients for a person on cancer treatment therapy.  This helps to strengthen the body’s immune system and prevent weight loss. Our meals have also been devleoped to help mitigate many of the common nutritional side effects of cancer such as mouth sores, changes in taste and nausea and vomiting.  Lastly and importantly, our meals save you time and energy. We know that you are exhausted from treatment and that it is hard to muster up the energy to plan, shop and prepare for meals so we have created a solution that is delivered to your door and only requires heating and eating!

    Why did you create Meals to Heal? (back to top)

    We created Meals to Heal to help caregivers and cancer patients receive proper nutrition during their treatment to strengthen their bodies to fight cancer alongside the cancer treatments provided by their oncologists and to reduce/minimize nutrition related side effects.  In addition, we want to empower patients with safe, evidence-based information and resources to use in the management of their diagnosis to be as healthy as possible.

    What should I drink while on the Meals to Heal program? (back to top)

    Unless directed otherwise by your physician or your healthcare providers, we recommend drinking lots of water- approximately 8 8oz glasses daily. We suggest eliminating all sugary or high calorie beverages.  In general, drinking alcohol is not recommended during cancer treatment.

    When should I eat my meals? (back to top)

    Ideally, we recommend that one eat within one to two hours of arising in the morning.  And, tradition is to eat three meals a day, however, you may experience nausea or lack of appetite making it difficult to eat at all let alone three meals a day.  Instead, eat smaller meals during the day taking care that the total amount of calories is what is recommended for your condition.

    What if I have diabetes/taking medication/have high blood pressure/high cholesterol? Are the meals low in sodium? (back to top)

    Our nutritious meals are based on the fundamentals of the Mediterranean Diet, a diet which has proven benefits for diabetics and people with heart disease, and is therefore a diet beneficial for those with these conditions.  The sodium content of our meals are lower than meals typically consumed in other meal programs or meals eaten out.  On average, a day’s worth of Meals to Heal’s  3 meals and two snacks is approximately 2400 mg or less of sodium.

  • Cancer

  • What types of cancer do you have experience with? (back to top)

    Our oncology dieticians have experience with the majority of cancers that exist today.  Breast, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers account for over 53% of all cancers in the United States and the treatment for these often results in nutritional related side effects such as changes in taste, nausea, lack of appetite and difficulty swallowing.  We have developed nutritional strategies to help address these side effects and so believe that our services are particularly helpful for patients with breast, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers.  However any cancer patient with these side effects and who can orally take in food will benefit from the nutrition in our meals.

    What types of cancer patients will benefit from Meals to Heal? (back to top)

    Cancer patients who can consume food orally will derive the most benefit from Meals to Heal’s meals.  While the nutritional content of the food offers benefits to all patients, these benefits can only be derived if the person can consume the food on a regular basis.  Please refer to our Terms of Use, Privacy and Legal Disclaimer section on Important Health Information for a list of conditions which are such that the patient should not set up an a home meal delivery program with Meals to Heal because the conditions are such that the patient will not benefit from our home meal delivery program.

    What if I have difficulty swallowing? (back to top)

    It is generally recommended that patients with swallowing issues eat soft foods such as soups and mashed or pureed options.  There are also mouth washes that help patients with mouth sores. These can be taken before eating. If you are prescribed a special diet for difficult swallowing that includes thickened liquids or pureed foods, please consult with your physician or healthcare provider before continuing with the Meals-to-Heal program.

    What if I have severe side effects? (back to top)

    Severe side effects such as loss of 5% body weight over a month require the immediate intervention of a physician.  Consult your physician if any side effect remains severe and, in particular, results in significant weight loss.

    What if my side effects persist even after eating your meals? (back to top)

    Consult with your physician and your dietician to develop strategies for dealing with side effects.  Our website has recommendations for dealing with certain side effects and links to dieticians for counseling.

    Should I order different meals on the days I am having surgery, chemo or radiation? (back to top)

    In general, it is recommended that you don’t eat your favorite foods on the day of your chemo or radiation treatments because they sometimes cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite and changes in taste. As a result, patients then often lose their appetite for these “favorite foods” due to the negative association with the treatment.  Our meals allow you to stay prepared, plan ahead and, most importantly, allow you to eat healthy on busy treatment days.

    Can I drink alcohol? (back to top)

    In general, alcohol is not recommended during cancer treatment. For some cancer treatments, alcohol use is associated with poor outcomes. Please consult with your physician before consuming alcohol during treatment.

    Should I take supplements and are there any that will interact with your food? (back to top)

    There is a lot of talk about the viability of supplements today. In general, there is very little evidence that supplements, and botanicals in particular, provide any benefit to cancer patients. In general, consult your physician or healthcare provider before taking any supplement or botanical.  Supplements such as Ensure or Orgain are commonly used in cancer treatment because they provide additional calories and nutrients for patients.  Generally, these are prescribed by your physician. [You can order these supplements from Meals to Heal but make sure your physician has recommended that you take them.]

    Will your foods interfere with the medications my oncologist has prescribed? (back to top)

    No, we don’t include any foods that are known to interact with certain cancer related medications.

    What if I have general oncology nutrition questions? (back to top)

    We are working with multiple oncology nutrition specialists, including registered dietitians with a Certified Specialist in Oncology credential and oncology registered nurses. Please email us your question at  info@meals-to-heal.com and we will send it to an experienced oncology dietician.   For questions or advice that are of a more medical nature, we recommend that you speak with your oncologist, physician, or other healthcare provider.

  • The Company

  • What are the Company’s operating principles? (back to top)

    1. Focus – on finding solutions to cancer patients’ and their caregivers’ nutritional issues
    2. Adhere to the highest quality standards – healthy, nutritious, organic-when-possible and hormone-free/antibiotic-free ingredients, safe, evidence-based information and experienced and credentialed oncology nutrition professionals
    3. Care – about your customers, about what you are doing and about yourself
    4. Make a difference
    5. Be ethical
    6. Play fair

    What is the Company’s mission? (back to top)

    We are dedicated to making the lives of cancer patients and their caregivers easier and less stressful by providing services which relieve them of the significant time, energy and worry associated with ensuring proper nutrition for themselves and their loved ones.

    Who founded Meals to Heal and why? (back to top)

    Meals to Heal was created by Susan Bratton who, after watching her friends and family struggle with nutritional issues during cancer treatment, wanted to find a safe, easy to use and comprehensive solution to cancer patients’ and their caregivers needs.  She founded Meals to Heal with the goal of making it easier and less stressful to receive proper nutrition, safe and effective nutritional information and nutritional counseling.

  • Delivery

  • Are you “green”? (back to top)

    We seek to be environmentally conscious and use organic ingredients when possible, as well as source ingredients locally in order to reduce our carbon footprint.  Our packaging is recyclable in some instances and reusable in others.

    Is your packaging recyclable? (back to top)

    You can recycle almost all of your shipping materials (the Styrofoam insulation is made of polystyrene #6 plastic bags and can be recycled/re-used by most towns.  All cardboard is recycled board.  All meal containers are PETE #1).

    What if there is a problem with a meal that has been delivered? (back to top)

    Call Customer Service using our toll free number, 888-721-1041, or email us at info@meals-to-heal.com and we will address the issue.

    What do I do if my wet ice packs are melted? (back to top)

    This should not present an issue as the packaging around the food is waterproof and thus will not touch your food.  As long as the meals are cold to the touch there will be no impact on quality or safety.  If you are not sure, please call or email Customer Service at info@meals-to-heal.com.

    What if I am not home when my meal is delivered? (back to top)

    You do not have to be home when meals are delivered since they will be left in a sealed, waterproof container and will be safe and cool when you arrive home.  However, as soon as you get home you should immediately put your meals in the refrigerator and NOT in the freezer.  We suggest placing the meals in a refrigerator within 12 hours of delivery.

    Is shipping/delivery an additional cost? (back to top)

    There is no additional cost for delivery or shipping charges. The price per day is includes delivery.

    How are meals delivered? (back to top)

    Our meals are delivered by Fedex in cooler containers surrounded by ice packs and then sealed.  They are delivered typically during the day and should be refrigerated as soon as you get them, within 12 hours. Do not put meals in freezer as it impacts the quality of the food.

    Can I have my order sent to a post office box? (back to top)

    No. We cannot deliver to a P.O. Box. We must deliver to a physical address.

    Where do you deliver? (back to top)

    We currently delivery nationally in the continental United States.

  • Meal Preparation

  • How long can I leave my meals in the refrigerator before throwing out? (back to top)

    Our meals are prepared fresh and then delivered to your door. Meals should be eaten within 1 week of receiving them, however there is a “Use By Date” stamped on the front label of all of our meals which is based on a 18 day refrigerated shelf life (from date of packaging).  We are able to offer an extended freshness due to the special MAPing technology that we use to seal our meals. We do not encourage putting your meals in the freezer as this may impact the optimal quality and taste of the fresh prepared meals.

    Are your containers safe to be used in the microwave and/or oven? (back to top)

    The containers that our entrée meals are packaged in are microwave safe. We do not recommend microwaving individual meals for more than 3 minutes on High.

    How do I reheat the food? (back to top)

    For items that are best eaten warm or hot, such as entrees, the best way to reheat food is in the microwave safe using microwave-safe plates. Take the food out of its packaging and place it on one of these containers on a High setting for up to 3 minutes. If you want to reheat using a conventional oven, place the contents of the container on a cooking tray and heat at approximately 350 degrees for 10-20 minutes. We do not recommend heating entrees that are generally served cold.

    Can you eat the food cold, just as it comes in the container? (back to top)

    Since the food has already been cooked and prepared, you can eat the food cold.

  • Ordering/Cancelling

  • Can I have my meals delivered to another address? (back to top)

    Yes. It will take about 1 week for your change request to go into effect.

    What if I travel a lot and need to cancel my meals temporarily? (back to top)

    We can put your orders on hold until you return, however you will need to give us at least 1 week’s notice before your change request can take effect.

    Can I order just certain meals, like dinners only? (back to top)

    Right now we do not offer the option of receiving only some meals of the day.   We recommend that you get a full-day meal plan- breakfast, lunch, and dinner and two snacks. The reason for this is that we want to make sure that you receive the full amount of calories that your body requires which is best achieved by having a full day’s worth of meals at your fingertips and which only require heating and eating.  Our program is designed to be a full outsourced solution to your nutritional needs so that all you get all of the required calories and nutrients and only have to “heat and eat.”  You may choose between a 5-day and 7-day meal plan.

    Do I have to get all meals every day? (back to top)

    Right now we do not offer the option of receiving only some meals of the day.   We recommend that you get a full-day meal plan- breakfast, lunch, and dinner and two snacks. The reason for this is that we want to make sure that you receive the full amount of calories that your body requires which is best achieved by having a full day’s worth of meals at your fingertips and which only require heating and eating.  Our program is designed to be a full outsourced solution to your nutritional needs so that all you get all of the required calories and nutrients and only have to “heat and eat.”  You may choose between a 5-day and 7-day meal plan.  So, the choice is yours!

    Can I set up my account to auto-renew so that there is no interruption in my service? (back to top)

    Yes. We make it easy so you only need to arrange for delivery once.  All you need to do is to set up an account for delivery and meals will start coming. If you need to stop delivery, just put the account “on hold” with at least 7 days notice.

    Does Meals to Heal offer Discounts? (back to top)

    Meals to Heal provides great value for the current price that’s charged which covers the costs of preparing and transporting your customized meals, along with providing you customer support and guidance.  Occasionally, we will offer discounts.  Like us on Facebook to become aware of discounts and promotions.

    Does Meals to Heal offer Gift Certificates? (back to top)

    Yes! Friends and family can buy gift certificates for patients and/or caregivers directly from the Meals to Heal website by simply clicking on the green gift box icon on our Home Page. They will be asked to provide the recipient’s name, street address, zip code and email address as well as their billing and credit card information. The recipient will receive an email notifying them of the amount of the Gift Certificate and will have a credit in their account to be used for ordering meals. Gift Certificates for any amount may be purchased.

    What if I can’t afford to buy the Company’s meals? (back to top)

    You will soon be able to ask people to donate meals to you by using our Gift Certificate program which is launching in a few weeks. Please tell them to check back soon for our Gift Certificate program.  When we are offering this program, the person who wants to buy a gift certificate can click on “Buy a Gift Certificate” on our website, then enter your name, street and zip code, which will identify you as the recipient. They will then need to provide us with their credit card information for billing purposes. If this is not an option, we also donate money to charities that offer meals to people with cancer and other medical conditions and they can help provide you with the nutrition you need during treatment. Such charities include Meals on Wheels or God’s Love We Deliver.

    How do I pay for my meals? (back to top)

    You can pay by credit card – American Express, Mastercard or Visa.

    How do I set up an account? (back to top)

    Setting up your own Meals to Heal account is easy!  Simply go to the “Order Now” section of the website and follow the instructions.   We will ask you a number of questions about your disease and its treatment as well as nutritional questions. The answers to these questions help us develop meal recommendations that are designed specifically for your unique condition.  We will then ask for delivery and payment information and then all you need to do is order meals.

    How much does the Meals to Heal program cost? (back to top)

    The cost for a day’s worth of meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks – is approximately $35/day for either a 5-day or 7-day meal program with auto-renew.  Your meals are delivered weekly and you are billed each week for the plan you select, either the $175 (5-day plan) or the $245 (7-day plan). If you do not elect auto-renew, you will not be eligible for the $20/week discount already included in the above prices.  We encourage you to try it for a week so that you can experience first-hand how delicious and satisfying our meals are.

  • The Information

  • What are the sources of the information on your website? (back to top)

    We rely solely on evidence-based information which means information that has been proven in a controlled scientific setting according to strict rules for ensuring that the results are safe and can be relied upon. This includes articles that are published in leading medical and nutrition journals.  We also include information from trusted sources such as the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute and the American Institute for Cancer Research, all of which rely heavily on evidence-based medicine.

    How do I know I can trust the information on your website? (back to top)

    The information has been selected by our Board of Advisors and oncology dieticians and is based on scientific studies rather than anecdotal stories that have not been verified and/or backed up by scientific evidence or studies.  There are many sources of information on the internet that promise cures for cancers but which have no evidence supporting these claims.  We do not suggest that nutrition can cure cancer because there is no scientific evidence that confirms that.  But there is scientific evidence of the benefits of proper nutrition to cancer patients and their caregivers including strengthenend immune system, improved response to treatment, fewer side effects, and many other benefits.

    How often is the information on the website updated? (back to top)

    The information is based on the most current studies.   As new studies and scientific evidence are published we will update our website.

Meals To Heal