Published on: 15 Aug 2019 14:57

Written by: Maryhill Housing

From 12th August 2019, a new Best Start Foods smartcard will replace the Healthy Start voucher scheme in Scotland.

The main features are:

  • Best Start Foods smartcard will be worth £4.25 a week, or £8.50 for a child under 1.

  • The smartcard can be used for milk, fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables, pulses and eggs.

  • Eligibility can begin from the start of pregnancy and continue until the child’s 3rd birthday.

  • People entitled to Healthy Start vouchers for a child aged 2 or 3 within the last 12 weeks who claim Best Start Foods before 31st March 2020 can continue to qualify until the child’s 4th birthday.

  • You qualify if you are pregnant, or responsible for a child under 3 and receiving:

    • Universal Credit (UC) and earn no more than £610 a month in either of the last two complete monthly assessment periods;

    • Child Tax Credit (not Working Tax Credit) with an annual income of £16,190 or less;

    • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit with an annual income of £7,320 or less;

    • Housing Benefit with a weekly income of £311 or less;

    • Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Pension Credit.

  • You can also qualify if you are under 18 or aged 18/19 and a dependent in someone else's benefit claim.

It will be possible to claim from 12th August 2019. You can apply by calling 0800 182 2222 or emailing    

Please note that Healthy Start vouchers will stop for people currently receiving them in Scotland and it will be necessary to make an application for Best Start Foods.