Best Start Foods

Best Start Foods is a new payment which will replace The Healthy Start vouchers in Scotland and allows people to buy healthy foods.  The new payment will replace paper vouchers with a payment card giving more flexibility in how it can be used. The changes to BSF from the Healthy Start scheme are that:

  • An Application is made on the same form as for the Best Start grant
  • A prepaid card instead of a voucher is used with the ability to accrue monies not used
  •  Increased weekly payment of £4.25 which is preloaded for 4 weekly payments at a time
  • In addition to milk, formula milk, tinned, frozen or fresh fruit and veg, are eggs and pulses
  • The benefit is only until the child turns 3 now and not 4 years

How much can you get?

Applicants will receive £17 every 4 weeks during pregnancy and for any child between 1 and 3 years. This payment increases to £34 for any child under one.

Who can get it?

You must be in receipt of certain benefits or tax credits, are pregnant or the parent/carer of a child.

Social Security Scotland will be happy to help with any questions about eligibility, payments or your application. You can call them using the freephone telephone number 0800 182 2222

Applications can be made by post, telephone or online at

Please note it is the same application form for both the Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods so only one application is required.

If you are already receiving Healthy Start vouchers, you will receive an invitation to apply for BSF and should do so as your payments will increase.

Please note, the Healthy Start Vitamins Scheme is separate from this and for the moment will continue in its current form.

Social Security Scotland are keen to hear feedback, both positive and negative of service users experiences so please get in touch with any experiences or comments.