We essentially eat 5 meals a day at our home – breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner. My son’s allergies require me to prepare lots of homemade food. While I enjoy doing this, it makes me incredibly happy when we discover a new pre-made, allergy-friendly food here in Switzerland. These pre-made foods help so much, particularly when I’m tired of cooking or we’re traveling.
Based on my experience thus far, here’s my list of allergy-friendly Swiss snacks without dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts or sesame. I often serve fresh or dried fruit for snacks, which are obviously allergy-friendly, so these didn’t make my list. Instead, I focused on pre-made, multiple ingredient and shelf-stable products. As a reminder, please check labels carefully as ingredients and allergy warnings can change. All of the snacks below were purchased at our local Coop, except for #3 and #5.
1. Dar-Vida Nature – Crackers (3.20 CHF): We’ve lived in Switzerland now for 5 months, and I finally came across Dar-Vida crackers last week. I had pretty much given up on finding good-tasting and allergy-friendly crackers after many failed attempts, but my older son picked these out at the store. He told me his friends at school have them during snack time. When I checked the ingredient list, I was pleasantly surprised. They’re now a staple in our kitchen.
2. Soft Snack Abricot – Granola Bars (3.50 CHF): This was a great find. Granola bars free of nuts! Perfect for snack time at home and when we’re on the road. While they don’t contain my son’s allergens, they do contain gluten and soy, so this snack isn’t for everyone.
3. Misura Biscuits au Miel – Honey Biscuits (about 4 CHF): We lived in a temporary apartment for about a month before getting settled in our current place. Near this apartment was a small Italian market where we found these wonderful animal cracker-like cookies free of eggs and milk. I haven’t seen them anywhere else yet, but I’m hoping you might be able to find them elsewhere in Switzerland.
4. Roland Sticks – Pretzels (3.50 CHF): These pretzels are another great snack that’s allergy-friendly. I usually serve these up with some dried fruit—typically figs, raisins or mangos—for a relatively healthy and very easy snack.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, we no longer purchase this product because the allergen information provided on the package has changed. I sent an email to Roland Murten AG, and the company responded with the following explanation on September 22, 2014:
“We have updated our allergen labelling in regard to other products which are now produced on the same production line and which contains egg or milk. Allergen is a very sensitive topic for us as we know the implications for the customers. We are carrying risk assessments based on raw material specifications, Good Manufacturing Practices (cleaning procedures, storage…) and analysis, so as to insure that we are having the right allergen labelling on our products.” –A representative of Roland Murten AG
5. Pancho Villa Chips de Mais – Tortilla Chips (3.80 CHF): I’ve seen allergy-friendly corn tortilla chips at both Migros and Coop. All are good, but the bag I’ve shown here is from Migros. It’s also possible to find salsa in these stores, or you can make your own.
6. Added on March 23, 2013 – Lotus Original Karamellgebäck (2.90 CHF): We recently discovered these wonderful cookies, which you can buy at Coop or Migros. Since Coop revised the allergy label for a cookie I used to purchase (now the package says it may contain traces of milk), the Karamellgebäck are the ONLY dairy/egg/nut-free cookies I’ve found so far at these major Swiss grocers. They taste almost identical to cookies handed out by Delta Air Lines to its passengers (maybe they’re the same?). My mother always saves them from her flights for the boys, so we affectionately refer to these as “Oma” cookies.
As I continue my search, I plan to grow this list. For now, I hope this helps people with food allergies living in and traveling to Switzerland. What are your favorite allergy-friendly snacks in Switzerland? Please share your suggestions in a comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your help!
Updated: September 24, 2014