Sample rates: $29.99 - $48/ day, depending on calories and plan
Cost for a year for one person at high-end rates: $17,520
The kitchens of the grand old Gilded Age mansions didn't have microwaves, yet the job of family cooks seemed like it was simpler: Serve a roast, bread, soup, and sides and dessert, then consider dinner a done deal. But we now live in an age of special-needs eaters: diets followed include organic, vegan, gluten-free, low calorie, low carb, low cholesterol, anti-cancer, Ayurvedic and macrobiotic, the last of which (among other restrictions) should not include tomatoes or peppers but must have ingredients that originate locally. To add extra layers of complication, there can be multiple such eaters in the family.
One solution for those who can afford to outsource meal preparation is subscribing to one of many available meal delivery plans. Nutropia is one such business providing meal delivery service, supplying three meals and two snacks per each person to clients' doors each morning. Their customizable meal plans focus on gourmet food and can accommodate vegetarian diners and "those with various needs and interests."