Information for retailers

Welcome to the Healthy Start retailer website. You can find information and advice about how to join the scheme, what benefits it offers you and your local community and how to claim reimbursement.

You can register as a retailer if you sell at least one of the permitted Healthy Start foods listed below:

  • Liquid cows milk
  • Plain, fresh and frozen vegetables
  • Plain, fresh and frozen fruit
  • Tinned fruit and vegetables
  • Fresh, dried or tinned pulses
  • Infant formula milk, which is suitable from birth*

If you register as a retailer, this means that you are helping beneficiaries of the scheme in your local community and it could encourage new customers to visit your shop or outlet. To participate please click here to submit an application form.

 Change in packaging for infant formula

You may have noticed a change in the packaging for some brands of infant formula where some nutritionally complete infant formula (stage one formula) previously labelled as suitable 'from birth' or 'from birth to 12 months' is now labelled as suitable 'from birth to 6 months'. For infants aged between 6 to 12 months, some brands are promoting follow-on formula, to support an infant's development as part of a balanced diet.

Please note that Healthy Start vouchers can only be used to buy nutritionally complete stage one formula which is suitable from birth, you should not accept Healthy Start food vouchers to purchase follow on formula. We do not expect you to provide any advice on infant formula unless you are a qualified pharmacist or health care professional. You should always refer the customer to speak to their midwife or health visitor.

Once you are registered as a retailer, you can accept Healthy Start vouchers from customers who wish to buy the following permitted items in your shop;

  • Plain cow's milk - whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed. It can be pasteurised, sterilised long-life or UHT.
  • Fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables including loose, pre-packed, whole, sliced, chopped or mixed fruit or vegetables, fruit in fruit juice, or fruit or vegetables in water, but not those to which fat, salt, sugar or flavouring have been added.
  • Cow's milk-based infant formula milk. This must be labelled as suitable for use from birth and satisfy, by itself, an infant's nutritional needs.
  • Fresh, dried and tinned pulses, including but not limited to lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas but not those to which fat, salt, sugar or flavouring have been added.

If you have any questions about which formula best meets the nutritional needs of your baby, please contact the formula company directly or speak to a health professional.

News flash

From the 1 April 2021 the Healthy Start voucher value will increase to £4.25.

Since the 1 October 2020, Healthy Start vouchers can also be used to buy tinned fruit and vegetables or fresh, dried or tinned pulses.

How does it work?

Your customers can use the vouchers in full or part payment for Healthy Start foods.

Customers might use more than one voucher at a time. Registered Healthy Start retailers can accept them for Healthy Start foods as long as all the vouchers they want to use are within their use-by date.


Urgent notice

Healthy Start has moved from paper vouchers to a digital scheme. Paper vouchers have now been replaced by a prepaid card that beneficiaries can use to buy healthy food and milk.

The last paper vouchers issued were valid until 24 April 2022. As a Healthy Start retailer you must claim for reimbursement of paper vouchers within six months of the voucher's use by date. If you have accepted any Healthy Start paper vouchers, you must submit claims for reimbursement by 23 October 2022 or you won't receive your payments.