Food Matters evaluated the national Healthy Start Programme, a means-tested scheme that helps pregnant women and those with children under four to buy fruit, vegetables, milk and formula.

A healthy diet for a pregnant woman is essential for her baby to develop and grow. The first 1000 days of a baby’s life, from conception to age two, is a critical phase, and good nutrition is crucial for the life-long health and wellbeing of the child.

We designed and ran a series of participatory workshops with women and families eligible to receive Healthy Start vouchers. Acknowledging that, as the end-users, the participant’s voice is central to understanding and evaluating the scheme.

The workshops were designed to gain understanding about the opinions and perspectives of those that use Healthy Start vouchers, and to use this information to help inform recommendations to improve the scheme, making it work better for those it’s intended to support.

The workshops helped people understand the scheme better and supported those who were not currently enrolled to benefit from the scheme.

We learnt that the Healthy Start scheme influences people’s shopping and eating habits.  The vouchers enabled them to experiment with different fruit and veg and buy better quality and a wider variety.

We want our workshops to be a two-way exchange which is why participants were given vouchers for their contribution, time and expertise.

Healthy Start Evaluation | Consultation, Evaluation & Facilitation

The Healthy Start scheme influences people’s shopping and eating habits, enabling young families to experiment with different fruit and veg and buy better quality and a wider variety.

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Read more by downloading the evaluation reports below.

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Get in touch with the Food Matters team to find out more about what we do or get involved. We also want to hear from you if you would like to collaborate with us on a future project.

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