Healthy Start Vitamins

Please visit to apply for the Healthy Start Scheme

Vitamin D

It’s recommended that breastfed babies are given a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms (µg) of vitamin D from birth, whether or not you’re taking a supplement containing vitamin D yourself.

Babies having 500mls (about a pint) or more of formula a day should not be given vitamin supplements as formula is already fortified with vitamins. This does not mean that breastmilk is not the healthiest way to feed baby as it contains other ingredients that formula milk cannot replicate.

Healthy Start Vitamins

Healthy Start vitamins are recommended for pregnant women and new mums and children from 6 month to 5 years. Vitamins are essential nutrients that your body needs in small amounts so that it can work properly. Even though you can get lots of vitamins from a healthy balanced diet, you still might not get everything you need at certain times in your life – such as when you’re pregnant, a new mum or a small child. It is recommended that at these times you should take a supplement containing specific vitamins to make sure you get everything you need.

Healthy Start vitamins can help prevent vitamin deficiencies and maintain healthy growth and development for your child. Vitamin D is difficult to get from the diet alone and the best source is from sunlight, therefore during the winter months it is difficult to get adequate amount of vitamins D. Certain groups are at a higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency including pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, babies born with darker skin types and anyone who has little or no exposure to sunlight (for example wear concealing clothing, sun creams or stay indoors etc.)

Healthy Start vitamins are suitable for vegetarians and halal diets, and free from milk, egg, gluten, soya and peanut residues. There are a range of other vitamins available, however many of these contain a range of nutrients that are not suitable, therefore Healthy Start Vitamins are the only vitamin supplements we recommend for your child.

Women’s vitamin tablets contain:

  • Folic acid: reduces the chance of your baby having spina bifida, a birth defect where the spine doesn’t form properly
  • Vitamin C: helps maintain healthy tissue in the body
  • Vitamin D: helps your body to absorb calcium and so supports your baby’s bones to develop properly. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia, which causes bone pain and tenderness.

Healthy Start children’s vitamin drops contain:

  • Vitamin A: for growth, vision in dim light and healthy skin
  • Vitamin C: helps maintain healthy tissue in the body
  • Vitamin D: for strong bones and teeth. In children a lack of vitamin D can lead to rickets

Children’s Vitamin Drops are £2 and Mother’s Vitamin Tablets are £1. However, you may also be eligible for free vitamins through the Healthy Start scheme- see information below.

Extra advice during pregnancy (click on the image to download the leaflet)

Nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy

Nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy

Healthy Start Scheme

You’ll qualify for the Healthy Start scheme if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or you have at least one child that’s under 4. In addition, you must be receiving any of the following:

  • Child Tax Credit (only if your family’s annual income is £16,190 or less)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit (which includes the child addition)
  • Universal Credit (only if your family’s take-home pay is £408 or less per month from employment)

You will also be eligible for Healthy Start if:

  • you’re under 18 and pregnant, even if you are not claiming any benefits
  • you claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and are over 10 weeks pregnant
  • you, your partner or your carer get Working Tax Credit run-on only after you have reported you’re working 16 hours or less per week

To find out if your family earns £408 or less per month from employment whilst claiming Universal Credit, look at your ‘take-home pay for this period’ on your monthly Universal Credit award notice

With Healthy Start, you will receive a Healthy Start Card with money loaded on which can be can be spent on:

  • plain cow’s milk – whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed. It can be pasteurised, sterilised, long life or UHT
  • plain, fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables (fruit and vegetables with no added ingredients), whole or chopped, packaged or loose
  • fresh, frozen or tinned pulses
  • infant formula milk that says it can be used from birth and is based on cow’s milk.

You can also get free Healthy Start vitamins.

Ask your health visitor or midwife for details or visit Healthy start NHS

Where are Healthy Start vitamins available?

  • You can purchase/claim Healthy Start vitamins from our 3 Flying Start centres at certain times during Term Time:
    • Park Town Centre (LU1 3DU)
      • Mondays to Fridays: 9am to 3pm
    • Centre in Foxcubs Nursery (LU1 1TZ)
    • Centre in Pastures Way Nursery (LU4 0PE)
    • CYCD, 94-106 Leagrave Road (LU4 8HZ)
    • Farley Community Centre, Delphine Close (LU1 5RE)
    • Hockwell Ring Community Centre, Mayne Ave (LU4 9LB)
    • St Francis Church, Carteret Rd (LU2 9JZ)

You can also purchase Healthy Start Vitamins from 3 Active Luton centres at certain times:

    • Hightown Community Sports & Arts Centre (LU2 0JD) (01582 419548)
      • Monday to Friday: 9am to 6pm (card payment only)
    • Lea Manor Recreation Centre (LU3 3TL) (01582 599888)
      • Monday to Friday: 11am to 4pm
      • Saturdays 10am to 1pm
    • Lewsey Sport Park (LU4 0PF) (01582 604244)
      • Monday to Friday: 11am to 4pm
      • Saturdays 10am to 1pm

Parenting and Family Relationships

There are a variety of courses and one-off sessions for parents in Luton to promote positive, nurturing and responsive parenting

Child Safety

Safe at Home Luton is a child accident prevention programme aimed at families from pregnancy through to the child’s 5th birthday.

SEND families

If you think that your child may have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) you should speak to someone about your concerns- find out more on Luton’s Local Offer

Five to Thrive

Just as our child’s body grows better when you give them good food, your child’s brain grows better when you do five simple things that feed the growing brain:

Respond ● Cuddle ● Relax ● Play ● Talk

Talking Takes Off

Talking Takes Off is a programme to support improvements in speech and communication in children from 0-5 years old in Luton.


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