News By Month

Healthy Start for Families

Posted on the 10th April 2014

Families in East Lancashire who have a low income are being encouraged to sign up to a Healthy Start scheme to encourage healthy eating and help reduce vitamin D deficiencies which can lead to more serious health problems.

The Healthy Start scheme provides vouchers to pregnant women on low incomes and those with children under the age of 4 to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and milk. Additionally, the scheme offers free vitamin D supplements to all pregnant, postnatal and breastfeeding women regardless of income and all children until they reach their sixth birthday, across the whole of East Lancashire.

Halima Laheri, Health Improvement Practitioner at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:-

“Throughout the UK there is a high vitamin D deficiency amongst both adults and children. We get around 10% of our required vitamin D from food, the rest we should get from the sun. The Healthy Start Vitamin Scheme is a great way for anyone in the higher risk groups, such as pregnant and breastfeeding women and young children, to get access to vitamins essential for strong bone development and the absorption of calcium.

“Also, the Healthy Start Voucher Scheme is a great way for families on low incomes to ensure they can keep up a healthy diet as it allows them to buy milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and infant formula milk from participating retailers.”

If you would like to find out more about the Healthy Start Scheme please visit their website www.healthystart.nhs.uk or contact your local Children Centre, Health Centre, Health Visitor or Midwife. Alternatively, please call 0845 607 6823.