Healthy Start

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk.
If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. We’ll add your benefit onto this card every 4 weeks.
You can also use your card to collect:
• Healthy Start vitamins – these support you during pregnancy and breastfeeding
• Vitamin drops for babies and young children – these are suitable from birth to 4 years old

You can also get free Healthy Start vitamins.

If you qualify you get:

• £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

Find out more information about Healthy Start


You’ll qualify for the Healthy Start scheme if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or you have at least one child that’s under 4.

In addition, you must be receiving any of the following:

• Child Tax Credit (only if your family’s annual income is £16,190 or less)
• Income Support
• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Pension Credit (which includes the child addition)
• Universal Credit (only if your family’s take-home pay is £408 or less per month from employment)

You will also be eligible for Healthy Start if:

• you’re under 18 and pregnant, even if you are not claiming any benefits
• you claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and are over 10 weeks pregnant
• you, your partner or your carer get Working Tax Credit run-on only after you have reported you’re working 16 hours or less per week

To find out if your family earns £408 or less per month from employment whilst claiming Universal Credit, look at your ‘take-home pay for this period’ on your monthly Universal Credit award notice.

The money will stop when your child is 4 years old or if you no longer receive benefits.


Temporary extension to Healthy Start eligibility

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has agreed to temporarily extend the Healthy Start scheme for people who meet all of the following criteria:

• You have parental responsibility for at least one child who is less than 4 years old.
• Your family’s take-home pay is less than £408 per month.
• You are excluded from claiming public funds because of your current (or lack of) immigration status.

If you meet the eligibility criteria for the temporary extension, email the Healthy Start team at to request an application form. This email address is only for those who meet the temporary extension criteria.


How to apply

If you get a qualifying benefit and are more than 10 weeks pregnant or have parental responsibility for at least one child under 4 years old.

You can apply online. To apply, you will need your:

• name
• address
• date of birth
• National Insurance number
• baby’s due date (if you’re pregnant)

If you’re currently receiving paper vouchers for Healthy Start, these will stop once you complete the online application. You can still use your Healthy Start vouchers until their expiry date. You can find the expiry date printed on your vouchers.

Apply for Healthy Start vouchers online today


Having issues or have questions?

If you're having any issues with the digital switchover, applying for the Healthy Start scheme or have any further questions we can help you with, please feel free to contact us at 


Healthy Start vitamins

Healthy Start vitamins are available from Family Hubs across Cornwall.  Simply pop into to your nearest Family Hub with your Healthy Start card to pick up your vitamins.

To find your nearest Family Hub, click on this link: Family Hubs - Cornwall Council