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Best Start Foods - Scotland

Best Start Foods is a Scottish government scheme to help pregnant people and young children afford healthy food.

1. What is Best Start Foods?

Best Start Foods is a Scottish government scheme to help pregnant people and young children afford healthy food.

If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, read our guide on Healthy Start vouchers.

The money from Best Start Foods comes on a pre-paid Mastercard.

You can use this card to buy:

  • Plain cows’ milk
  • First infant formula
  • Fresh, frozen or tinned vegetables
  • Fresh or dried pulses
  • Fresh eggs

Applies to: Scotland

Age rules: No specific age rules

Type of benefit: Non means tested (but you may have to be receiving a qualifying benefit)

Administered by: Social Security Scotland
 

2. Can I get Best Start Foods?

You can only get Best Start Foods if you live in Scotland.

If you’re under 18

You can get Best Start Foods if you are pregnant or are a parent of a child under 3, and you are under 18.

If you are aged between 14 and 18, you can choose whether you get the card yourself or whether someone else gets it for you. If you are under 14, you will need your parent or carer to apply for you.

If you’re over 18

You can get Best Start Foods if you are pregnant or are a parent of a child under 3 (if you are already getting Healthy Start vouchers, you may be able to get Best Start Foods until your child is 4) and you are getting one of the following benefits:

3. How much is Best Start Foods worth?

Best Start Foods is paid through a pre-paid mastercard. The card will be topped up automatically every four weeks.

You will get:

  • £4.25 per week if you are pregnant
  • £8.50 per week for each baby under 1 year old
  • £4.25 per week for each child aged over 1 but under 3 (or under 4 if you are already getting Healthy Start vouchers)

Best Start Foods and other benefits

Best Start Foods will not count as income when working our your entitlement to other benefits.
 

4. How do I claim Best Start Foods?

You can claim Best Start Foods online on the mygov.scot website.

 You can also claim over the phone by calling: 0800 182 2222.