The UK Government first introduced the Health Start statutory scheme back in 2006 to help provide a nutritional safety net for the most needy.
Healthy Start free vouchers have now replaced the 'Welfare Food Scheme'. The coupons are for pregnant women and young children in low-income families.
The UK-wide Healthy Start voucher scheme helps pregnant women and mothers who are breastfeeding.
If you qualify, you get free coupons every week to spend on essential food products and vitamin packs.
The free food list includes infant formula milk tokens for babies, tinned fruit, pulses, and fresh vegetables.
Note: Some claimants can exchange coupons for free vitamins at local shops. You might also get a discounted price at the pharmacy.
Most families who are claiming social security benefits or tax credits will be eligible for Healthy Start tokens. Also, anyone under the age of eighteen (18) and pregnant will qualify for free baby milk vouchers.
Are you pregnant or do you have one or more children under the age of four (4)? If so, you will get one or more vouchers for each week that you qualify.
The NHS Healthy Start scheme helps you buy the basic foods you need. Furthermore, you can also exchange the coupons in many retail shops around the United Kingdom.
The NHS has 'temporarily' extended the validity of the vouchers by four (4) weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, all registered retailers will honour the twelve (12) week entitlement.
We understand that more than 30,000 food stores are taking part in the Healthy Start scheme. In some cases, you will be able to swap the coupons for free vitamins, most suitable for:
Important: There is a time limit of six months from the date of your letter to get backdated vouchers. So, you should contact the helpline without delay if your payments are overdue.
Healthy Start vouchers for babies are currently worth £4.25 per coupon. Everyone who qualifies will be able to spend them on:
Note: Claimants who are pregnant, or have a child between one and four years old, will get one (1) voucher per week. Mothers with a child less than one year old will get two (2) vouchers a week (worth £8.50). You may also qualify for free vitamin supplements.
You can check to see if you are eligible for Healthy Start vouchers on the NHS website. As a rule, you will qualify if (either):
Also, to qualify you must already be getting any of the following benefit entitlements:
Being pregnant and under 18 means you would also be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme even if you do not get any welfare benefits.
Working Tax Credit Run-on
The Working Tax Credit run-on is a further payment for four (4) weeks. It begins immediately after you stop qualifying for the full credit.
You can claim your vouchers by filling in the online Healthy Start application form on screen. Print it out and then get your midwife or health visitor to sign it (or a registered doctor or nurse).
Send the completed form to the Healthy Start address. Milk token application forms are also available from your 'health visitor' or midwife.
You can also call the Healthy Start helpline to get the milk token vouchers application form.
Healthy Start Issuing Unit
PO Box 1067
Healthy Start Vouchers Number Helpline
Telephone: 0345 607 6823
Call rates for milk coupons phone number.
Click to download the 'milk token application form' available on the National Health Service (NHS) website.
Note: The short video [3:21 seconds] explains the importance of giving vitamin supplements (A, C, and D) to babies and small children.
Healthy Start: When are Baby Milk Tokens Due in United Kingdom?