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From April 2021, the food voucher value for pregnant women and young children in low-income families will be increasing from £3.10 to £4.25.

The UK-wide Healthy Start scheme provides young pregnant women and low-income families with children under the age of four with free vitamins and food vouchers to purchase vegetables, fruit, pulses and cows’ milk. As the name suggests, the scheme helps ensure children have a healthy start in life by boosting family budgets to buy healthier options.

Pregnant women or those who have children under the age of four can get free vouchers or payments every four weeks to spend on:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables
  • Infant formula milk
  • Fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
  • You can also get free Healthy Start vitamins.

A number of supermarkets in the UK have also committed to incentives to either increase the value of Healthy Start vouchers or provide additional free fruit and veg in their stores. Find out who is offering what here

Although the vouchers cannot be used online, over 21,000 retail outlets are registered with the Scheme across the UK, including many independent local shops and pharmacies. You can check which shops in your area are registered here

To apply for the Healthy Start scheme, a paper application form can be downloaded from the Healthy Start website here or requested from a GP or Midwife. Alternatively, a form can be requested via the Healthy Start helpline on 0345 607 6823.

People who are currently receiving Healthy Start vouchers can take part in a survey to share their experience of using the Healthy Start scheme.

A range of posters and social media graphics can be found in the Healthy Start resource toolkit – please share with your beneficiaries.