The Healthy Start scheme helps low-income pregnant women and young children in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to buy fruit, vegetables, pulses, milk and infant formula. It encourages families to make healthy food choices.

Despite the significant positive impact that Healthy Start can have on a household’s budget and access to a healthy diet, in some areas almost half eligible families are missing out.

Healthy start is available to all pregnant women under the age of 18 regardless of income, as well as pregnant women and families with children under the age of four who qualify for the following benefits:

Income Support or

Income-based Jobseeker’s allowance or

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance or

Child Tax Credit (with a family income of £16,190 or less per year) or

Universal Credit (with a monthly income below £408 per month)

To apply for for the Healthy Start scheme, families must complete an online application form. Eligible families then receive a pre-paid mastercard which is updated with their payments every four weeks.

As of April 2021:

From 10 weeks of pregnancy, women get £4.25 each week

Babies under the age of one get £8.50 each week

Children aged over one and under four get £4.25 each week

If you feel you are eligible please go to