Promoting, protecting and advocating for the Healthy Start scheme in the UK

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Information and practical guides

This site provides details on eligibility for Healthy Start, an online application form and information on where Healthy Start vouchers can be spent. Additionally, it provides links for practitioners to order hard copies of Healthy Start application forms and Department of Health leaflets on the scheme.

For families, health professionals and Healthy Start coordinators

This guide provides:

Information on the Healthy Start scheme and what can be bought with the Healthy Start food vouchers


Recipes for family meals, with photos of appropriate portion sizes for infants, children and adults


Simple ideas for eating well on a budget, and


Ideas for complementary food and finger foods for infants from 6 months of age

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This book provides a range of recipes that include ingredients that can be bought with Healthy Start vouchers. Recipes include photos of portion sizes for infants, children and adults.

What does the Healthy Start scheme aim to do?

Using Healthy Start food vouchers to support eating well

What can you buy with Healthy Start food vouchers

Tips for keeping food shopping costs down

A simple guide to choosing infant formula and milks for infants and young children

This short guide for professionals that deliver the Healthy Start scheme introduces the concept of journey mapping and provides a journey mapping checklist and model that can support local areas to enhance practice in the delivery of Healthy Start.

This guidance provides expert advice on how Healthy Start should be used to support low-income families.  

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Healthy Start was evaluated for the first time in 2013. The following three links will take you to the evaluation reports and an article based on one of the evaluations.

Additional information on Healthy Start

Lucas, P.J., Jessiman, T., Cameron, A., Wiggins, M. & Austerberry, K.H.C. 2013, "Healthy Start Vouchers Study: The Views and Experiences of Parents, Professionals and Small Retailers in England", University of Bristol, Bristol.

McFadden, A., Fox-Rushby, J., Green, J.M., Williams, V., Pokhrel, S., McLeish, J., McCormick, F., Anokye, N., Dritsaki, M. & McCarthy, R. 2013, Healthy Start: Understanding the use of vitamins and vouchers, University of Dundee. Dundee

Jessiman, T., Cameron, A., Wiggins, M. & Lucas, P.J. 2013, "A qualitative study of uptake of free vitamins in England", Archives of Disease in Childhood. Vol.98. Issue 8

Quick information sheets

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