How Healthy Start vitamins are made available across the UK varies from country to country. To find out more select a country:
About Healthy Start vitamins
Pregnant women, women with a child under 12 months and children aged from six months to four years who are receiving Healthy Start vouchers are entitled to free Healthy Start vitamins.
Healthy Start vitamins contain the appropriate amount of recommended vitamins A, C and D for children aged from six months to four years, and folic acid and vitamins C and D for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Healthy Start vitamins are important because:
- 8% of children under five in the UK don’t have enough vitamin A in their diet¹
- families in lower-income groups tend to have less vitamin C in their diet¹
- all pregnant and breastfeeding women and young children are at risk of vitamin D deficiency² (teenagers, younger women and those from ethnic minorities are particularly at risk).
Two bespoke Healthy Start branded products are available:
- Healthy Start children’s vitamin drops (containing vitamins A, C and D)
- Healthy Start vitamins for women (containing folic acid and vitamins C and D).
Healthcare professionals should discuss the importance of vitamin supplements with beneficiaries and advise them where they can swap their green vitamin coupons locally.
To find out how we advise beneficiaries to get vitamins locally click here.
Healthy Start children’s vitamin drops
Children receiving Healthy Start vouchers qualify for free vitamin supplements from six months old until their fourth birthday. The daily dose of five drops contains:
- 233 micrograms of vitamin A
- 20 milligrams of vitamin C
- 7.5 micrograms of vitamin D3
Children who are having 500ml or more of formula a day do not need Healthy Start vitamins.
The vitamins are suitable for vegetarians and free from milk, egg, gluten, soya and peanut residues, and have a shelf life of 10 months from manufacture. They come in 10ml bottles, each of which contains just over 56 daily doses. Beneficiaries are entitled to one bottle every eight weeks.
Babies under six months old
Children over six months old getting Healthy Start vouchers are legally entitled to free vitamin supplements. However, in certain circumstances vitamin supplements may be provided to infants under six months old getting Healthy Start vouchers, if healthcare professionals consider that their vitamin stores are likely to be low and that the supplements would benefit them.
Healthy Start women’s vitamin tablets
The daily dose is one tablet, which contains:
- 70 milligrams of vitamin C
- 10 micrograms of vitamin D
- 400 micrograms of folic acid.
They are suitable for vegetarians and free from wheat, fish, egg, salt. No colours, flavours or preservatives. No gluten containing ingredients.
The shelf life is two years from manufacture. Beneficiaries are entitled to one bottle of 56 tablets every eight weeks.
¹Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (2008) The Nutritional Wellbeing of the British Population. London: TSO.
²Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (2007) Update on Vitamin D. London: TSO.