Healthy Start Scheme - England, Wales, Northern Ireland - What is Healthy Start Scheme?

If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old and live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you could get help from Healthy Start Scheme to buy some basic foods.

Last reviewed 22 August 2023

What is Healthy Start Scheme?

There is a different scheme in Scotland. If you live in Scotland, read our guide on Best Start Foods - Scotland.

Healthy Start scheme helps with buying healthy foods. 

This scheme is for pregnant people and people who are responsible for children aged under 4. 

If you’re eligible, you will be given a Healthy Start card with money added onto it. You will be able to use your card to buy: 

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

You can also get free vitamins. Ask your midwife or health visitor where to get your free vitamins or check online who stocks Healthy Start vitamins in your local area. If you live in Northern Ireland and eligible for Healthy Start, you will be sent a letter explaining how to request your free vitamins.

Applies to: England, Northern Ireland and Wales

Age Rules: There are no specific age rules

Type of benefit: Non means tested.

However, in some cases you will need to be eligible for a in order to qualify.

Administered by: National Health Service (NHS)


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