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NHS Healthy Start – Get help to buy healthy food and milk


The NHS Healthy Start scheme is designed to help families access fruit, vegetables, and milk, worth £220 a year. Families who use NHS Healthy Start can also access free vitamins.

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old, and in receipt of certain benefits, you could be entitled to a Healthy Start prepaid card worth £4.25 per child per week, to spend on healthy food and milk.

If you are entitled to Healthy Start, you will also get free vitamins designed to help pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children.

Pregnant women and parents of children over one and under four years old can apply online for a new Healthy Start digital prepaid card which will be topped up every 4 weeks. Parents of children under one year old can get £8.50 per week.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women who use NHS Healthy Start can also access the following free vitamins:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Folic Acid

For children up to 4 years:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D


You will quality for the Healthy Start scheme if you are 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 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 are 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 aware notice.

Check if you are eligible and apply: NHS Healthy Start – How to apply

A full list of FAQs can be viewed here:

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