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Healthy Start 


Healthy Start logo

 

Healthy start is a UK wide scheme that aims to help improve the health of pregnant women and families on benefits and low incomes.

Healthy Start provides vouchers that can be used to buy fresh fruit, veg and milk, and coupons that can be exchanged for free vitamins for pregnant women, new mums and children.

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. This important means-tested scheme provides vouchers to spend with local retailers. 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.

How to apply

Applying for Healthy Start is easy.

  • Get a copy of the Application Form by asking your midwife or health visitor for one or you can get one from your local Children Centre or GP practice.
  • Complete PART A of the form and ask your midwife or health visitor to fill in and sign PART B of the form.
  • Send the form to the address below – either write the address on a plain envelope (you don’t need a stamp) or use the freepost envelope at the back of the application leaflet if you have one.

Freepost RRTR-SYAE-JKCR
Healthy Start Issuing Unit
PO Box 1067
Warrington
WA55 1EG

 

Healthy Start vitamins 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.

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 free from milk, egg, gluten, soya and peanut residues.

Pregnant women, women with a baby under one year old and children from six months old to their fourth birthday on Healthy Start will get green Healthy Start vitamin coupons. These will be sent to you, with your Healthy Start vouchers, every eight weeks.

 

Healthy Start women’s vitamin tablets contain:

  • Folic acid: reduces the chance of your baby having spina bifida, a birth defect where the spine doesn’t form properly
  • Vitamin C: helps maintain healthy tissue in the body
  • Vitamin D: helps your body to absorb calcium and so supports your baby’s bones to develop properly.

Healthy Start children’s vitamin drops contain:

  • Vitamin A: for growth, vision in dim light and healthy skin
  • Vitamin C: helps maintain healthy tissue in the body
  • Vitamin D: for strong bones and teeth.

Healthy Start vitamins are for children from six months old or who are having less than 500ml (one pint) of infant formula a day. Babies under six months old who are fully breastfed might benefit from them earlier – ask your midwife or health visitor for advice.

How to get Healthy Start vitamins

Click on this link to use the post code search facility on NHS Choices.

www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Healthy-start-vitamins/LocationSearch/348

Alternatively speak to your family Health Visitor to find out where you can obtain the vitamins. There is a vitamin coupon attached to your Healthy Start vouchers every couple of months.

Vitamin D supplements are essential for pregnant and breastfeeding women, plus children under the age of five.  Click here for more information. Vitamin supplements and you

More useful information can be found at www.healthystart.nhs.uk

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