Healthy Start

Healthy Start is a government scheme to improve the health of low-income pregnant women and families on benefits and tax credits.

Healthy Start is part of the government's plan to improve the health and well- being of pregnant women and children born into low income families on benefits and tax credit.

With Healthy Start, you get free vouchers every week to spend on plain cow's milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and infant formula milk.

Every 8 weeks, beneficiaries also get vitamin coupons with their vouchers, which they can swap for Healthy Start vitamins from their local children's centre. The coupons are either for Healthy Start women's tablets or Healthy Start children's drops.


You qualify for Healthy Start if you are woman who is at least 10 weeks pregnant or families with children under 4 years old qualify for Healthy Start if the family is getting:

  • income support, or
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, or
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
  • child Tax Credit (with a family income of £16,190 or less per year)
  • universal Credit (with a family take home pay of £408 or less per month) 

Women also qualify during the whole of their pregnancy if they are under 18 when they apply, even if they don't get any of the above benefits or tax credits.

You also qualify if you are under 18 and pregnant, even if you don't get any of the above benefits or tax credits.

How to apply

You can get an application leaflet by:

  • asking your midwife or health visitor
  • calling the Healthy Start helpline on 0345 607 6823 and asking them to send one to you by post
  • filling in the online form and then printing it off to check and sign

Find out more about the scheme

Page last updated: 12 May 2022