NHS urged to add plant-based milk to ‘healthy start’ voucher scheme
The NHS has been urged to include plant-based milk as part of its Healthy Start voucher scheme.
The scheme includes vouchers that can only be used to purchase cow’s milk and free supplements containing animal-derived vitamin D.
It allows some pregnant women and parents of young children to claim free vouchers to spend on milk, fruit and vegetables.
The Vegan Society has now written a formal letter to the NHS about its scheme.
The charity says the restriction imposed by the NHS on the purchase of plant milk and the lack of vegan-friendly vitamin D unfairly and unreasonably disadvantages vegans.
Heather Russell, Dietitian at The Vegan Society, said:
“It is important for everyone to eat calcium-rich foods daily and fortified plant milk plays an important role in vegan nutrition.
“In fact, the UK’s Eatwell Guide recognises that fortified plant milk represents a valuable alternative to cow’s milk. Calcium content is comparable and the soya variety is similar to cow’s milk in terms of protein quantity and quality.”
The Vegan Society has sent a letter to the NHS prompting it to remove the restriction on the purchase of plant milk and provide a vegan alternative to the supplement containing animal-derived vitamin D.
The NHS has 14 days to respond.