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Get help to buy food and milk (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.  

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

You’ll get money added onto your card every 4 weeks to spend on certain food and milk.

You’ll get:

  • £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.

How do I apply for Healthy Start vouchers?

The Healthy Start scheme has become a digital service and will offer an online application process which replaces the current HS01A leaflet and paper application form.

The digital scheme introduces a prepaid card to be used for purchasing healthy food and milk, to replace the paper vouchers.

Beneficiaries of the scheme can also use their prepaid card to prove their entitlement, to collect free Healthy Start vitamins.

Find out more on the Healthy Start website (opens a new window)