About Healthy Start
If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk.
If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. Money will be added to this card every 4 weeks.
- £4.25 each week of your pregnancy from the 10th week
- £8.50 each week for children from birth to 1
- £4.25 each week for children between 1 and 4
Your money will stop when your child is 4, or if you no longer receive benefits.
You can use the card in participating local shops and supermarkets on milk (cow's milk and infant formula) and plain fresh or frozen fruit and veg (with nothing else added), and fresh, dried and tinned pulses. Plus you’ll also get access to free vitamins.
Who can apply?
You’ll qualify for the Healthy Start scheme if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or you have at least one child that’s under 4.
In addition, you must be receiving any of the following:
- Child Tax Credit (only if your family’s annual income is £16,190 or less)
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Pension Credit (which includes the child addition)
- Universal Credit (only if your family’s take-home pay is £408 or less per month from employment)
You will also be eligible for Healthy Start if:
- you’re under 18 and pregnant, even if you are not claiming any benefits
- you claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and are over 10 weeks pregnant
- you, your partner or your carer get Working Tax Credit run-on only after you have reported you’re working 16 hours or less per week
To find out if your family earns £408 or less per month from employment whilst claiming Universal Credit, look at your ‘take-home pay for this period’ on your monthly Universal Credit award notice.
How to apply
You can apply online. To apply, you will need your:
- date of birth
- National Insurance number
- baby’s due date (if you’re pregnant)
- benefit award letter if you’re over 18 (you must enter the same information that’s on this letter)
If you’re currently receiving paper vouchers for Healthy Start, these will stop once you complete the online application. You can still use your Healthy Start vouchers until their expiry date. You can find the expiry date printed on your vouchers.
Visit: How to Apply
Healthy Start vitamins
Ask your midwife or health visitor where to get your free vitamins.
You can also find who stocks Healthy Start vitamins in your local area (opens in a new tab).
To collect your free vitamins, you’ll just have to show your Healthy Start card or vouchers.