Healthy Start

What is 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. Your benefit is added onto this card every 4 weeks.

You can use your card to buy:

  1. plain liquid cow’s milk
  2. fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables
  3. fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
  4. infant formula milk based on cow’s milk

You can also use your card to collect:

  1. Healthy Start vitamins – these support you during pregnancy and breastfeeding
  2. vitamin drops for babies and young children – these are suitable from birth to 4 years old

If you get Universal credit, you can apply online if:

  1. you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or have at least one child under 4 years old
  2. your family’s monthly ‘take-home pay for this period’ is £408 or less from employment

If you get Child Tax Credit, you can apply online if:

  1. you have at least one child under 4 years old
  2. your family’s annual income is £16,190 or less

Healthy Start Vitamins

Young children may not get enough vitamin A and D even if they are eating well. If you are pregnant and breastfeeding you may not get enough vitamin C or D or folic acid.

You can use your Healthy Start card to get these important vitamins for free. These come as NHS Healthy Start tablets and drops for children.

They do not contain milk, egg, gluten, soya or peanut residues. They’re suitable for vegetarians and halal diets.

You can get the vitamin tablets while you’re pregnant and up to your baby’s 1st birthday. They contain:

  1. folic acid which lowers the chance of babies having spinal problems
  2. vitamin C which helps the body’s soft tissue
  3. vitamin D which helps babies’ bones to develop properly

To collect your free vitamins, you’ll have to show your Healthy Start card or vouchers.

In Sheffield vitamins are now available from every local Family Centre. If you do not qualify for Healthy Start they are also available to buy at low cost. For further information about Healthy Start please ask your midwife or health visitor, call 0845 607 6823

or visit