Through the Healthy Start scheme qualifying families and pregnant women are provided with vouchers that can be exchanged for fresh fruit and vegetables as well as milk and infant formula, plus free vitamin supplements. It also provides the opportunity to access quality information and advice about healthy family diet and breastfeeding, as well as broader health issues.
The Department of Health has identified that there is a low uptake of Healthy Start amongst the Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Somali communities and that they may be missing out on opportunities to receive financial help. With this in mind, the Department of Health’s Healthy Start team has planned a number of conferences throughout the country to help introduce Healthy Start to these communities.
Social Marketing Manager for Maternal and Infant Nutrition from the Department of Health, Amy Lim, says it is important to encourage parents and pregnant women to take up Healthy Start;
“The aim of Healthy Start is to provide families with financial support to buy nutritional foods, as well as promoting the benefits of a healthy diet and breast-feeding. There are many people missing out on receiving these benefits and these conferences will help us promote the initiative and encourage uptake especially amongst the targeted communities.”
Consultant nutritionist and registered dietician and best-selling author, Azmina Govindji, will be joining the regional health representatives to promote healthy eating and will demonstrate a number of healthy recipes for families. She said: “Parents find it difficult to get children to eat foods which are good for them. I will be demonstrating easy ways to incorporate fruit and vegetables into traditional meals and showing how to make fun food that will appeal to children.”
The conference will provide project managers and community group leaders with information on Healthy Start, local community health, key health and lifestyle messages and tools to help them take the messages of Healthy Start benefits to their members.
The Conference is taking place on Thursday 26th July at The Birmingham & Midlands Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham from 9.30am – 12.30pm. If you are interested in attending, please book your place by calling 0208 902 5575.