Get help to buy food and milk (Healthy Start)

What you should buy

You should only use your card to buy certain types of milk, infant formula, fruit and vegetables.

Fruit and vegetables

These should be:

  • fresh or frozen or tinned
  • whole or chopped
  • packaged or loose
  • fruit in fruit juice, or fruit or vegetables in water
  • fresh, dried or tinned pulses

These should not be:

  • with added ingredients like fat (oil), salt, sugar or flavourings, such as tinned tomatoes and herbs, kidney beans in chilli sauce, chips or onion rings
  • juiced or pre-cooked
  • fruits in syrup
  • smoothies

Plain cow’s milk

This should be plain cow’s milk, which is pasteurised, sterilised, long-life or ultra-heat treated (UHT).

It should not be:

  • flavoured
  • coloured
  • evaporated
  • condensed
  • plant-based milk
  • powdered (unless it’s stage one infant formula)

Infant formula

This should be:

  • stage one only (first infant formula)
  • made from cow’s milk
  • nutritionally complete

Look for ‘complete nutrition’, ‘from birth’, ‘from birth to 6 months’, or ‘from birth to 12 months’ on the label.

It should not be follow-on formula or milk (‘from 6 months’, or ‘from 6 to 12 months’).

Find out more about infant formula (opens in a new tab).

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Free Healthy Start vitamins

You can get free vitamins for you and your child with your Healthy Start card

A child with knife and fork in hand about to eat a plate of vegetables

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions that people may have about the Healthy Start scheme

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