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Explore the benefits of the NHS Healthy Start card



The NHS Healthy Start scheme helps young families on low incomes to buy healthy food and milk.

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have children under four and receive certain benefits, you could be eligible for NHS Healthy Start.

Once on the scheme, you’ll receive a prepaid card, which you can use to buy fruit, vegetables, pulses, milk and infant formula. The card will be topped up with payments every four weeks and you can use it in most places that sell healthy food and accept Mastercard payments. You can also get free Healthy Start vitamins.

Once on the scheme, people will get:

  • £4.25 each week of their pregnancy (from the 10th week of pregnancy)
  • £8.50 each week for children from birth to one year old
  • £4.25 each week for children between one and four years old

The payments will stop on the child’s fourth birthday or if they no longer receive the qualifying benefits.


You can speak to your midwife, GP or Health Visitor about the Healthy Start scheme, breastfeeding, and all aspects of infant feeding. If you are experiencing financial crisis and are awaiting healthy start scheme funds, speak to your health visitor for information and support.

Did you know you can apply online for NHS Healthy Start in as little as 5 minutes? Check if you’re eligible for help with the cost of healthy food and milk. Apply online at the NHS Healthy Start scheme website.

There are animations available to tell you everything you need to know. You can find English and translated versions of the animations on the NHS Healthy Start YouTube.

There are several Healthy Start scheme posters; these are available in multiple languages, posters include a QR code that links to the NHS Healthy Start website to make it easy for people to find out more and apply online.

The Healthy Start scheme leaflets can be downloaded. These contain information about the NHS Healthy Start scheme, how to apply and what card holders can buy with their card. Some leaflets include QR codes which take people directly to the NHS Healthy Start website.


Last reviewed: June 24, 2024 by Adam

Next review due: December 24, 2024

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