Healthy start vouchers

healthy start vouchers words

If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you may be eligible to get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods.

Healthy Start helps you give your family the very best start in life. The means-tested scheme provides vouchers to buy some basic foods and vouchers to swap for vitamins.

How to apply

Access the application form online.   You will be required to:

  1. Complete Part A of the form - your personal information
  2. Send the form by freepost to the Healthy Start Issuing Unit

Please note: You may need have access to a printer to print off the form.

Qualifying criteria

Women who are at least 10 week pregnant or families with children under four years old will qualify if they are getting:

  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (with a family income of £16,190 or less per year)
  • Working Tax Credit (with a family income of £16,190 or less per year)
  • Universal Credit (with a family take home pay of £408 or less per month)

Women who are under 18 years old when they apply will qualify for vouchers for the whole of their pregnancy, even if they don’t get any of the above benefits or tax credits.

Using the vouchers

Pregnant women and families with children under four who receive certain benefits can get Healthy Start vouchers.  Pregnant women and families with children aged over one and under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week.  For children under one year old, they can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week. The vouchers be used to buy milk, plain fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables and infant formula milk.

The vouchers be used to buy milk, plain fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables and infant formula milk, however there are restrictions to what can be bought:

  • Milk
    This must be plain cow’s milk and can be whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed. It must also be pasteurised, sterilised, long-life or ultra heat treated (UHT).  It cannot be flavoured milk, coloured milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk, goat’s milk, soya milk, powdered milk (unless it’s infant formula) or milk with anything added to it such as milkshakes or vitamin-enriched milk.

  • Plain fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables 
    This means any kind of fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables including loose, pre-packed, whole, sliced, chopped or mixed fruit or vegetables, fruit in fruit juice, or fruit or vegetables in water but not those to which fat, salt, sugar or flavouring have been added.

  • Pulses
    Fresh, dried and tinned pulses, including but not limited to lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas but not those to which fat, salt, sugar or flavouring have been added.

  • Infant formula milk 
    This must be infant formula milk that is based on cow’s milk and says on the packaging that it can be used from birth.  It cannot be infant formulas that are not based on cow’s milk – such as soya formulas and goat’s milk formulas – or on any follow-on formulas that say on the packaging that they are for babies aged six months or older.

Where can I use the vouchers in Leicester

There are over 140 retailers across the City that accept Healthy Start vouchers.  Please check with a retailer prior to doing your shopping to ensure that they accept the vouchers.  Search for a retailer by postcode area, or view the full retailer list online or download pdf.

Further information 

Full details about Healthy Start vouchers visit www.healthystart.nhs.uk or telephone 0345 607 6823.


Related links

Free Healthy Start vitamins