Swiss National Day of Allergy 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015 – Today marks the seventh National Day of Allergy in Switzerland. Organized by aha! Centre d’Allergie Suisse, this year’s event focuses on the relationship between allergies and skin, particularly during times of leisure, such as traveling or participating in sports activities. To increase awareness of allergies, aha! will be presenting images related to this year’s theme and sharing informational materials at seven train stations across Switzerland: Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Locarno, Lucerne and Zurich.

Image source: aha! Centre d’Allergie Suisse

As part of its focus on skin, allergies and leisure in 2015, aha! is promoting several of its programs and activities related to this theme, such as its allergy-friendly camps for children and translation cards for traveling. Also, aha! offers training courses for parents of children with atopic eczema. At least two of these courses are planned for Suisse Romande this fall. Finally, aha! has lots of materials on allergies available via its website to help further this year’s message: “une bonne information et prévention pour une meilleure qualité de vie” (i.e., good information and prevention for a better quality of life).

For more information:


Peanuts & Tree Nuts: Translated for Switzerland

A family traveling to Switzerland this summer wrote me and asked for some help identifying peanut and tree nut ingredients. In response to their request, I’ve put together a list of common nuts translated into three of the four official languages in Switzerland: French, German and Italian.

Nuts 2974x2236

As for my methodology, I started with Google Translate. Then, after I finished my first draft of the table below, I shared it with native speakers for each of the three languages. Finally, I made changes based on their feedback. For example, I added a couple of Swiss German terms that were completely new to me.

When you review my list, if there are any terms I should add or change—such as Swiss-French terms from Suisse romande that may differ from French terms in France—please tell me! You can leave a comment below or send me an email. Also, while I hope this can be a quick reference for people living and traveling with nut allergies in Switzerland, please always use caution when reading ingredient lists or talking with restaurant staff—always ask questions if you have any doubts.









Brazil nut

noix du Brésil


noce del Brasile


noix de cajou

cashewnuss, caschunuss, cashewkerne



châtaigne, marron (roasted chestnut)

kastanie, maroni (Swiss German)







noix de macadamia

macadamia, macadamianuss



noix, fruits à coque

nüsse, schalenfrüchte



noix de pécan




arachide, cacahuète, cacahouète



pine nut

pignon de pin









walnuss, baumnuss (Swiss German)


While we no longer have to avoid peanuts and tree nuts for my son, I know what’s it’s like to do so. Hopefully your child (or children) will also outgrow their food allergies, or for everyone living with food allergies, I hope there will someday be a cure. In the meantime, I’ll keep sharing what we’ve learned via this blog, in case it’s helpful to others.

Once again, if you have any suggested edits for the table above, please send them my way. Thanks so much for your help. And, Happy Birthday to my mother-in-law!

Updated: June 30, 2014

Easter sans Eggs and Bunny Rolls

This will be our first Easter in Switzerland, and our first time celebrating the holiday without eggs. Since learning of our youngest son’s positive test result for an egg allergy last summer, we’ve been avoiding eggs—including all products with eggs as ingredients or potential traces of eggs.

Picnic eggs - Pre-decorated, hard-boiled eggs from the grocery storeŒuf suisses pique-nique or “picnic eggs”–pre-decorated, hard-boiled eggs from the grocery store

Egg Ingredient Translations

Similar to the post I did on milk ingredients in French, Italian and German, here are some ingredient translations for eggs, based on a list provided by one of our allergists. Food labels can apparently use the following terms to indicate the presence of eggs.

English French German Italian
Egg(s) Œuf(s) Ei, eier Uovo, uova
Egg proteins Protéines d’œuf Ei proteine Uova proteine
Egg white, albumin Blanc d’oeuf, albumine Eiweiss, albumen Bianco d’uovo, albumina
Animal proteins Protéines animales Tierische proteine Proteine ​​animali
Ovalbumin Ovalbumine Ovalbumin Ovoalbumina
Egg powder Poudre d’œuf Eipulver Uova in polvere

Celebrating Easter without Eggs

When I was growing up, we always grabbed a branch from our yard and decorated it with colorful Easter eggs. This year, I bought plastic eggs from Migros, which we painted and hung from branches we found at a local park. The kids loved this project, and I don’t think it made a difference that we didn’t use real eggs. Plus, I avoided having to poke holes and blow out the eggs from their shells!

DSC07897Our Easter Egg tree with plastic, painted eggs

In terms of candy, the Easter bunny has struggled to find allergy-friendly candy (dairy/egg/nut-free) this year. I’ve only seen a few allergy-friendly Easter candy options in the stores. As such, the Easter bunny will hide some jelly beans, along with a few little animal figurines that I’m planning to purchase yet (although I’m starting to run out of time!). I’ll figure something out, making sure both my sons get some tasty and safe Easter treats, one way or another. And, both will get chocolate, although my food-allergic son’s may not be in a bunny shape. Yet, I’m tempted to buy a mold and make some myself! To be determined…

Huge Swiss, chocolate bunnies for EasterHuge Swiss, chocolate bunnies for Easter


Zopfhasen: Bunny Rolls

Lately, the boulangeries around us are making Zopfhasen or what I fondly refer to as “bunny rolls”–delicious little breads shaped like Easter bunnies with raisin eyes (Zopf is a very traditional Swiss bread). I tracked down a recipe for Zopfhasen online, which I’ve been adapting all week. As with my banana pancake experiments last week, my family is sick of eating bunny rolls. Yesterday, I finally got the recipe right, so here it is. I hope you like it!

Makes 6 large rolls

3 to 3 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 1/4 cups soy or rice milk, warmed
1/4 cup vegetable-based margarine, melted
1 tablespoon melted vegetable-based margarine, for brushing
Toppings: Raisins for eyes, and sucre en grains (sugar)

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients—3 cups of flour, salt and sugar.

2. Dissolve yeast in the warmed soy or rice milk. Add the melted margarine, and blend well.

3. Form a trough in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir together and knead for about 5 minutes into a smooth dough. Add extra flour, as needed. Cover and let rise at room temperature for about an hour.

4. Punch down the dough and divide into 6 equal portions. Form dough into bunny shapes and let rise on a parchment-covered baking sheet while the oven pre-heats. For a brief bunny-making tutorial (in German), check out Swiss Milk’s video.

5. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, spread melted butter on the top. Place a raisin in an indentation made with your finger for the bunny eye.

6. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 220°C/425°F.

Optional: While warm, spread margarine on top and sprinkle with sugar.



We’re heading into a 4-day weekend here in Switzerland, as Good Friday and Easter Monday are federal holidays. I’ll be experimenting with some new gâteau recipes, which I’ll be sure to post if they turn out. Bon week-end!

Updated: June 23, 2014

Milk Ingredients: French, German and Italian Translation

Our local Swiss allergist recently gave us a list of milk-based ingredients in French. To the extent it might be helpful, I’ve shared her list below, along with the German and Italian translations.


Milk, Lait, Milch, Latte

First, these products and ingredients traditionally contain milk, unless otherwise specified (e.g., soy-based products):

English French German Italian
Cheese Fromage Käse Formaggio
Yogurt Yoghourt Joghurt Yogurt
Cream Créme Sahne Crema
Butter Beurre Butter Burro
Ice Cream Crème glacée Eiskrem Gelato

In addition, the following ingredients indicate the presence of milk:

English French German Italian
Milk, milk powder Lait, poudre de lait Milch, milchpulver Latte, latte in polvere
Skim milk, skim milk powder Lait écrémé, poudre de lait écrémé Magermilch, magermilchpulver Il latte scremato, latte scremato in polvere
Milk proteins Protéines lactiques, protéines de lait Milchproteine Proteine ​​del latte
Evaporated milk, Condensed milk Lait évaporé, lait concentré Kondensmilch Latte intero concentrato
Whey, whey powder, or lactoserum Petit-lait, poudre de petit-lait or petit-lait en poudre; lactosérum, poudre de lactosérum Molke, molkepulver, lactoserum Siero di latte, siero di latte in polvere
Milk solids Matière sèche du lait Milchfeststoffe Latte solidi
Lactose Lactoses Laktose Lattosio
Lactalbumin Lactalbumine Lactalbumin Lattoalbumina
Casein Caséine, caséinates Kasein Caseina
Milk curds Caillé Milch quark Latte cagliata
Animal proteins, animal fat Protéines animals, graisse animale Tierische proteine, tierische fette Le proteine ​​animali, grassi animali
Concentrated butter Beurre concentré Butterfett Burro concentrato

This is a work in progress… If you have any suggestions for additional milk-based ingredients that should be added or corrections to the translated terms, please leave a comment below or send an email to

Thanks for your help!

Updated: March 3, 2013