Healthy Start - Get help to buy food and milk
- What is Healthy Start?
- What you'll get and how to shop
- Who can apply?
- How to apply
- Further information
What is Healthy Start?
If you're more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under the age of 4, you may be able to get help to buy healthy food and milk. You'll receive a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in shops.
Visit the NHS Healthy Start website (external link) for more information and to apply for the scheme.
You can use your card to buy:
- Plain liquid cow's milk
- Fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables
- Fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
- Infant formula milk based on cow's milk
You can also use your card to collect:
- Healthy Start vitamins - these support you during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Vitamin drops for babies and young children - these are suitable from birth to 4 years old
If you need support completing your Healthy Start application form online, then visit your local Children's Centre or get in touch with Connected Communities.
If you need access to a computer or the internet to complete your application, please visit your local library.
What you'll get and how to shop
Healthy Start changed from a paper voucher scheme to a card-based scheme in December 2021. All families who were on the paper voucher scheme need to re-apply to the new scheme to continue to receive the benefit.
You'll get money added onto your Healthy Start 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 year old
- £4.25 each week for children between 1 and 4 years old
Your money will stop when your child is 4 years old, or if you do not get benefits that make you eligible.
To learn more about shopping with your Healthy Start card, visit the NHS Healthy Start website (external link).
Who can apply?
You'll qualify for Healthy Start if you're at least 10 weeks pregnant or you have at least one child under the age of 4.
In addition, you must be receiving one of the following:
- Child Tax Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit (only if your family's take home pay is less than £408 a month)
You will also be eligible if:
- You're under 18 and pregnant, even if you are not claiming any benefits
- You claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance and are over 10 weeks pregnant
- You or your partner get Working Tax Credit run-on only
To find out if you can apply, visit the NHS Healthy Start website (external link).
How to apply
To apply for Healthy Start, visit the NHS Healthy Start website (external link) to complete an online application form.
If you have any questions, phone 0300 330 7010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need support completing your Healthy Start application form, then visit your local Children's Centre or get in touch with Connected Communities. If you need access to a computer or the internet to complete your application, please visit your local library.
Apply for Healthy Start External link
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