Giving Your Children a Healthy Start

Do you think free vitamin supplements should be available to all pregnant women and/or young children?

I’m sure you will have read or heard on the news that as a nation we are getting bigger and that this can have harmful effects on our health.   But did you know that many young children are not getting the important things they need in their diets to help them stay healthier for life, like vitamins?

We all want the best for our children but with so much advice out there it can be confusing to know what is best for our children’s health or how to give them a balanced diet that has everything they need for their development.

A recent report from the Chief Medical Officer recommended that Healthy Start vitamins should be made available to all, not just those on benefits or low-incomes.

We would love to hear from you…

All this week (2nd-5th December) we will be welcoming feedback from families about the Healthy Start scheme and sharing links to the latest guidance for Mums to be, new Mums and families about health in pregnancy and the early years.

We would like to know, through  our Blog, Facebook or Twitter pages how you are helping your children get a Healthy Start.  Any feedback is valuable, here are some ideas…

Do you use Healthy Start vouchers?  If not, why not? Do you give your children vitamin supplements?

Did you take Folic acid when you were pregnant?  Do you think all families should be offered free vitamin supplements?  How could we do this to make sure as many children as possible benefit? Are they any other things you do as a family to try to stay healthy?

We really look forward to hearing from you so please use the comments box to share your thoughts and ideas.

Are you pregnant or do have a child under four years old?

Are you on a low-income or receiving benefits or tax credits?

You may be eligible for Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods (*see below). This important means-tested scheme provides vouchers to spend in local shops and supermarkets who are signed up to the scheme (there are lots in Shropshire!).  Pregnant women, new Mums and children over one and under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week. Children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.

*These vouchers can be spent on:

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

You will also receive…Healthy Start vitamins

Women and children getting Healthy Start food vouchers also get vitamin coupons to swap for free Healthy Start vitamins. (Your midwife, health visitor or children’s centre will be able to tell you where you can swap your coupon for vitamins in your area or go to: http://www.shropshireccg.nhs.uk/pharmacists ).

Healthy Start vitamins are specially designed for pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children.  There are tablets for pregnant women with Folic acid, vitamin D and vitamin C and children’s drops which contain vitamins A, C & D.  To find out why these vitamins are so important for all pregnant women, new mums and children go to: www.healthystart.nhs.uk

*If you are under 18 and pregnant you automatically qualify for Healthy Start*

Healthy Start helps you give your family the very best start in life

To find out more give us a call on 01743 254400 or email ShropshireFIS@shropshire.gov.uk

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