Get help to buy food and milk (Healthy Start)

Getting vitamins

We are moving from paper vouchers to the Healthy Start card. We will send the last paper vouchers out on the week starting the 7th March. You can still use any valid vouchers to get free vitamins.

Why you should get your free Healthy Start vitamins 

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

You can use your Healthy Start card to get these important vitamins for free. These come as NHS Healthy Start tablets and drops for children.

They do not contain milk, egg, gluten, soya or peanut residues. They’re suitable for vegetarians and halal diets.

You can get the vitamin tablets while you’re pregnant and up to your baby’s 1st birthday. They contain:

  • folic acid which lowers the chance of babies having spinal problems
  • vitamin C which helps the body’s soft tissue
  • vitamin D which helps babies’ bones to develop properly

Children can take vitamin drops if they:

  • are less than 4 years old
  • have less than 500ml (about one pint) of infant formula a day – as formula already has vitamins added to it

Healthy Start vitamins come as an 8-week supply of:

  • 56 tablets (a daily dose of 1 tablet)
  • 280 drops (a daily dose of 5 drops)

You or your children should not take more than the recommended amount.

Find out more about the vitamins you and your baby need and why (opens in a new tab).

How to get free vitamins if you live in England

Ask your midwife or health visitor where to get your free vitamins.

You can also find who stocks Healthy Start vitamins in your local area (opens in a new tab).

To collect your free vitamins, you’ll have to show your Healthy Start card or vouchers.

How to get free vitamins if you live in Wales

You can collect free vitamins at your local health board. You will need to show your Healthy Start card or vouchers.

How to get free vitamins if you live in Northern Ireland and have a Healthy Start card

If you are eligible, we will send you a letter explaining how to request your free vitamins. We will check your request and send your order to the Business Services Organisation in Northern Ireland. They will then post the vitamins to you.

How to get free vitamins if you live in Northern Ireland and have valid paper vouchers

Put your vitamin vouchers and the Healthy Start letter that comes with them in an envelope. Send the envelope to:

Business Services Organisation
Healthy Start vitamin scheme
Pinewood Villa
73 Loughgall Road
Armagh
BT61 7PR

The Business Services Organisation will then post the vitamins to you.

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