I made a trip up to the Houses of Parliament last week, to hook up with my local MP for Leyton and Wanstead Harry Cohen (pictured above right), as we joined Government Health Minister Caroline Flint (pictured above centre) in unveiling a new government programme called “Healthy Start”.
Healthy Start, which replaces the Welfare Food Scheme, has been set up to encourage healthy eating amongst Britian’s low income families, who are more likely to suffer health problems than families on higher incomes.
The Healthy Start programme will support mothers who breastfeed by introducing equal benefits for both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding mothers, and it will also provide families with extra money to buy fruit, vegetables and milk, as well as free vitamin supplements.
For the first time, the scheme will be open to all pregnant women under the age of 18 too.
Launching Healthy Start, Caroline Flint MP said, “Poor diet can have a real impact on people’s health. We want people to have the best possible opportunity to eat healthily but for families in low income households, this is sometimes easier said than done”.
“The Healthy Start scheme will not only provide greater choice of healthy food, but will also mean that children can get milk and fresh fruit and vegetables from the cradle up, helping to give them the best possible start in life.”
The Healthy Start programme will benefit thousands of low income families throughout Britain. It is really good news for my residents in Leyton ward.
To find out more go to: www.healthystart.nhs.uk