Healthy Start helps families claiming certain benefits to buy healthy food and milk from the 10th week of pregnancy until your child’s fourth birthday. People aged under 18 and pregnant are automatically eligible, regardless of their benefit status.
In Tower Hamlets, all children under age four, all pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as women up to one year after childbirth are eligible for free Healthy Start vitamins.
Those who are eligible can receive a Healthy Start card for use in supermarkets and other grocery stores to buy healthy food, milk or first infant formula.
About the Healthy Start card
You can use your card in most places that sell milk, infant formula, fruit and vegetables, such as supermarkets, convenience stores, drug stores, pharmacies, newsagents and petrol stations. You can’t use the card for online purchases, to get cash back or for withdrawals from a cash machine.
You can only spend up to the balance of your card, which is topped up every four weeks with the following amounts:
£4.25 each week of your pregnancy from the 10th week
£8.50 each week for children from birth to 1 year old
£4.25 each week for children between 1 and 4 years old
Vitamins from Healthy Start
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that the body needs in small amounts to work properly. This is true of adults who are pregnant or breastfeeding as well as children starting out in life.
Young children may not get enough vitamin A and D even if they’re eating well. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you may not get enough vitamin C, vitamin D or folic acid.
These important vitamins are available for free through Healthy Start in tablet form for adults or drops for children. They do not contain milk, egg, gluten, soya or peanut residues. They’re suitable for vegetarians and halal diets.
Make sure you apply
Your eating habits are an important part of maintaining good health. A well-balanced diet will provide you and your children the energy required to keep active throughout the day and the nutrients needed for growth and development. Deficiencies in key nutrients can weaken parts of your immune system.
Healthy Start can help you and your family with basic building blocks to help you feel your best.
Learn more about Healthy Start