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.

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