The milk tokens scheme that has been created by the government is operated by the Healthy Start organisation. The Healthy Start initiative has been created in order to provide milk tokens to women who may not be able to afford milk otherwise. The milk tokens can be exchanged for full fat milk or instant formula milk at any participating retailers.
Milk is a vitally important part of a childs diet and lifestyle, it adds significant benefits to the growth and development of children. Whole milk and other full fat dairy products are a good source of Vitamin A for children, these vitamins help the body to resist infection. This source of vitamin is also useful for maintaining healthy skin and healthy eyes.
Mothers can breastfeed babies after the age of one if they choose to do so, but mothers are also advised to give their children full fat cows milk to drink also. Full fat milk and dairy products should be used up and until a child is the age of two, this is due to the fact that the childs body needs extra vitamins up until this age.
After the age of two a mother can choose whether to introduce semi skimmed milk into the diet, this should be introduced only if a child eats a varied diet and appears to be developing well.
The vouchers can not be used to purchased fruit and vegetables which contain added fats such as oil, salt, sugar or any other ingredients which are not deemed to be healthy such as over chips or seasoned stir frys. People who receive the vouchers but are unaware whether a product is suitable should check the pack of the food for added ingredients before purchasing. These products are not allowed as they do not provide the essential vitamins which are required for child growth.
How much the vouchers are worth depends on the circumstances of an individual. If an individual is pregnant and receiving milk tokens, the value of the vouchers will be £3.10 per week. If the claimant is claiming the milk tokens for babies under the age of one the amount the tokens will be worth is £6.20 per baby under the age of one. For babies over one year old but under four years old, the amount the tokens will be worth is £3.10.
Milk tokens can be claimed from the tenth week of pregnancy, it is the responsibility of the mother to ensure that they make a claim. They will require their doctor to prove their pregnancy to the Healthy Start initiative. Milk tokens can be claims up until the age of four.