Help for parents to buy healthy food, milk, and vitamins.

Pregnant mum and toddler

Getting your baby into healthy habits early on gives them the best start in life and reduces their risk of poor health later. You can do many things to help young children by feeding them appropriate food and supporting their physical growth.

Kent County Council (KCC) supports the NHS Healthy Start Scheme, assisting low-income parents in purchasing healthy essentials.

If you're over 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you could get help buying nutritious food, milk, and vitamins. If you're under 18 and pregnant you automatically qualify even if you are not on any benefits.

If you’re eligible, and your application is approved, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops, worth £1230 per child, if you register at 10 weeks of pregnancy. Your benefit will continue to be added onto this card every 4 weeks.

You can use your card to buy:

  • plain liquid cow’s milk
  • fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables
  • fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
  • infant formula milk based on cow’s milk.

Young children may not get enough vitamin A and D even if they’re eating well. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you may not get enough vitamin C, vitamin D or folic acid.

You can also use your Healthy Start card to have these important vitamins posted for free for:

  • you while you are pregnant and up to your baby's first birthday.
  • your child from 4 weeks until their 4th birthday.
Headshot of the deputy cabinet member Dan Watkins

We want to ensure that all of Kent’s children have the best possible start in life...

Dan Watkins Kent County Council (KCC) Cabinet member for Public Health

Dan Watkins, Kent County Council (KCC) Cabinet member for Public Health, acknowledged the challenge low-income families face in providing nutritious meals for young children and pregnant mothers due to rising food prices.

“We want to ensure that all of Kent’s children have the best possible start in life. To support ongoing good health in children, it's important to eat nutritious food. That's why I urge eligible people in Kent to apply for this helpful benefit.”

To learn more, go to the or get the easy-to-read NHS Health Start guide You can also speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP.