Free vitamins for children under 4, pregnant women and new mums in Hackney
Good nutrition in pregnancy and early childhood leads to better health but it's difficult to get all the nutrients and vitamins you need, even if you eat a healthy balanced diet. Health experts recommend Healthy Start vitamins to make sure that you and your children get the important vitamins that you need. Healthy Start vitamins for pregnant women contain the recommended daily dose of folic acid and vitamins C and D and Healthy Start vitamins for children contain vitamins A, C and D.
Why do we need vitamin D?
We all need vitamin D for healthy bones and teeth. Most of our vitamin D comes from the summer sun and so it can be hard to get enough vitamin D in Britain, especially in winter. That's why taking extra vitamin D is important.
If you're pregnant, and have low levels of vitamin D there is a chance that you won't pass enough on to your baby. Low levels of vitamin D in children can lead to a bone condition called rickets.
Who's eligible for Healthy Start vitamins in Hackney?
- pregnant women
- new mums who have had a baby in the last year
- babies and children from 4 weeks until their fourth Birthday
If your baby's formula fed they won't need extra vitamins until they're drinking less than about a pint of formula milk a day (500ml or about 18 fl oz). This is because vitamins have already been added to formula milk.
How do I get Healthy Start vitamins?
- Register and collect your vitamins at your nearest Hackney pharmacy - in the City of London go to Boots on Aldgate High Street or Niemans chemist on Goswell Road
- Visit any pharmacy every 8 weeks to collect more vitamins when you run out - you won't need to register again
- You can also collect them from Linden Children's Centre, Woodberry Down Children's Centre and the One O'clock Club in Clissold Park
Healthy Start food vouchers
If you're pregnant or you've got children under 4, you could also be eligible for free food vouchers each week. They can be exchanged at some shops and supermarkets for whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed cow's milk and any kind of plain, fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables. You could qualify if you're on certain benefits, or if you're under 18.
You'll need to register separately for food vouchers. Just ask your doctor, midwife or health visitor or sign up online.
Further information for health professionals
Guidance notes are available for health and care professionals who are promoting Healthy Start City and Hackney, and pharmacies who are distributing the vitamins.