Healthy Start scheme

Healthy Start is a national programme that provides financial support to eligible young families and pregnant women for fruit, veg, and milk, as well as providing free vitamins.

The scheme has recently gone digital, which means you will receive a pre-paid chip and PIN Mastercard with money pre-loaded every 4 weeks instead of paper vouchers. The amount you will receive will depend on your circumstances but will be a minimum of £4.25 a week.

You will 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 (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 (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, if you are working 16 hours or less per week.

You can apply online at Healthy Start NHS or by calling 0300 330 7010.

The Healthy Start card can now be used at over 30,000 shops and retailers in the UK. You can use Healthy Start to buy fresh, tinned, or frozen plain fruit and veg, dried, canned, or frozen pulses, plain cows’ milk, and first infant formula.