Healthy Start vitamins

Healthy Start vitamins

What is Healthy Start?

In addition to eating a healthy diet, we recommend everyone, especially pregnant and breastfeeding women and children aged six months to five years take a vitamin D supplement to help them grow and maintain strong bones and prevent other diseases.

If breastfeeding you should also be taking vitamin D to ensure that your own levels are high enough to benefit your baby. To help baby get off to the best start, in Waltham Forest you will receive three free bottles of vitamin tablets for yourself, and three free bottles of vitamin drops for your baby, each bottle provides two months worth of free vitamins. We strongly recommend that children continue these vitamin drops up to the age of five.

At the new birth visit, your health visitor will tell you when to start giving your baby the vitamin drops depending on how your baby is feeding. Breastfed babies should start the vitamins at four weeks of age.

If you are registered on the national Healthy Start Scheme, you will receive vouchers which you can use to continue to get free vitamins as well as weekly supplies of fresh milk and vegetables. Lots of shops accept Healthy Start Vouchers but if you are having trouble finding local shops where you can use your vouchers call 0345 607 6823.

For where to collect your baby’s free bottles of Healthy Start vitamin drops or to exchange vouchers for vitamins please see useful contacts.

Healthy Start Voucher Scheme

You qualify for Healthy Start if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old and you or your family get:

  • Income Support, or

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or

  • Child Tax Credit (some exclusions apply), or

  • Universal Credit (some exclusions apply).

You also qualify if you are under 18 and pregnant, even if you don’t get any of the above benefits or tax credits. See your midwife or health visitor for an application form or call the Healthy Start helpline on 0845 607 6823 or visit

See your midwife or health visitor for an application form or call the Healthy Start helpline on 0845 607 6823 or visit


Where do I get my free Healthy Start vitamins?


Ask your midwife or health visitor if you have any questions about the local or national Healthy Start vitamin scheme.


When you finish your free bottles of vitamins, please continue to take Vitamin D supplements available at your local pharmacist.