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 by applying to Healthy Start scheme.

The main aim of the Healthy Start scheme is to give children in Wales the best possible start in life. It also provides health professionals and others working with pregnant women and families the opportunity to offer encouragement, information and advice on issues such as healthy eating, breastfeeding and vitamins.

Healthy Start: What’s on the shopping list in Wales?

In December 2020, the Welsh Government announced that it would be increasing the value of the Health Start vouchers in Wales from £3.10 a week to £4.25 to support nutritional intake amongst children and families on low incomes.

The scheme supports families in receipt of certain benefits, specifically helping pregnant and breastfeeding mums and children under the age of four. Women and children receiving Healthy Start food vouchers are also given vitamin coupons to exchange for free Healthy Start vitamins, specifically designed for pregnant and breastfeeding women, growing infants, and preschool children.

So how much are the vouchers currently worth?

  • Pregnant women get one Healthy Start voucher a week worth £3.10. This will increase to £4.25 in April.
  • Babies under the age of one get two vouchers a week worth a total of £6.20. Again, this will increase in April to £8.50
  • Children over one and under four get one voucher a week worth £3.10, increasing to £4.25 in April.

With an increase in the voucher value; the digitisation of the scheme and an anticipated re-brand of Healthy Start, it is hoped that more eligible parents will learn about the scheme and that a greater number of people will access it, utilising the money that’s available to help them feed their families. Life is an honest struggle for many right now, particularly young families, and ‘Healthy Start’ could provide welcome support.

Find out more here: Get help to buy food and milk (Healthy Start)