NHS Healthy Start

Support and Advice

Nhs Healthy Start Image 2

Anyone who is pregnant or families with children under 4 and in receipt of qualifying benefits may be entitled to get help to buy some basic foods and milk. This may include free Healthy Start vitamins for women and children.

If you are entitled to Healthy Start you can get help to buy:

  • plain, fresh, frozen, or tinned fruit and vegetables
  • plain cow’s milk
  • infant formula
  • fresh or tinned pulses


To qualify for the scheme, you must be at least 10 weeks pregnant or have at least one child under 4 years old.

In addition, you must be receiving any of the following:

  • Child Tax Credit (only if the 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 (only if the family’s take-home pay is £408 or less per month from employment)

 You may also be eligible for NHS 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 or your partner get Working Tax Credit run-on only.
    (Working Tax Credit run-on is the Working Tax Credit you receive in the 4 weeks immediately after you have stopped working for 16 hours or more per week)


NHS Healthy Start is going digital, introducing a prepaid card to be used for purchasing healthy food and milk, replacing paper vouchers.

New and excisting applicants to the scheme are required to apply online, but if you cannot apply online, you may apply over the telephone by contacting the NHS Healthy Start helpline on 0300 330 7010.

Click here to apply online


Nhs Healthy Start Card

Useful links:

NHS Healthy Start Scheme

Frequently Asked Questions

Nutrition and Exercise

The Eatwell Guide - NHS

Start4Life - NHS

Change4Life - NHS