HEALTHY START VOUCHERS
Healthy Start helps you give your family the very best start in life
If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods. Pregnant women and children over one and under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week. Children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.
The vouchers can be spent on:
plain cow’s milk – whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed. It can be pasteurised, sterilised, long life or UHT
plain fresh or frozen fruit and veg (fruit and vegetables with no added ingredients), whole or chopped, packaged or loose
infant formula milk that says it can be used from birth and is based on cow’s milk.
Healthy Start vitamins
Women and children getting Healthy Start food vouchers also get vitamin coupons to swap for free Healthy Start vitamins. Healthy Start vitamins are specifically designed for pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children. Your midwife or health visitor will be able to tell you where you can swap your coupon for vitamins in your area.
Do I qualify for Healthy Start?
You qualify for Healthy Start if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old and you or your family get:
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Child Tax Credit with a family income of £16,190 or less per year
Pension Credit; or
Universal Credit with no earned income or total earned income of £408 or less per month for the family. (To find this refer to your Universal Credit award notice in the section “your take home pay for this month”.)
You also qualify if you are under 18 and pregnant, even if you don’t get any of the above benefits.
What to buy with the vouchers
There are lots of great foods you can buy with your Healthy Start vouchers:
This must be plain cow’s milk and can be whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed. It must also be pasteurised, sterilised, long-life or ultra-heat treated (UHT).
You can’t spend your vouchers on flavoured milk, coloured milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk, goat’s milk, soya milk, powdered milk (unless it’s infant formula) or milk with anything added to it such as milkshakes or vitamin-enriched milk.
Plain fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables
This means any kind of plain fresh or frozen fruit or vegetables, whole or chopped, packaged or loose. You can’t spend your vouchers on any fruit or vegetables which have added ingredients such as fat (oil), salt, sugar or flavourings – including oven chips and battered onion rings. You also can’t spend them on dried, canned, juiced or pre-cooked fruit and vegetables or on smoothies.
Infant formula milk
This must be infant formula milk that is based on cow’s milk and says on the packaging that it can be used from birth. You can’t spend your vouchers on infant formulas that are not based on cow’s milk – such as soya formulas and goat’s milk formulas – or on any follow-on formulas that say on the packaging that they are for babies aged six months or older.
Healthy Start vitamins
Vitamins are essential nutrients that your body needs in small amounts so that it can work properly. Even though you can get lots of vitamins from a healthy balanced diet, you still might not get everything you need at certain times in your life – such as when you’re pregnant, a new mum or a small child. So UK health departments recommend that at these times you should take a supplement containing specific vitamins to make sure you get everything you need.
Healthy Start vitamins are suitable for vegetarians and halal diets, and free from milk, egg, gluten, soya and peanut residues.
For more information please visit https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/