I am not sure why but when I asked this question elsewhere I got lots of replies along the lines of "Food is so much healthier in Germany! Just look when you get there!" and some sarcastic "yeah, the Germans only eat sausages and beer, but maybe if you look really really hard you'll be able to find fruit and veg and maybe even coffee" which really have irritated me all day. I am not at all worried about the quality of food in Germany, I am very excited about moving there, I don't expect a bunch of stereotypes or cliches. I spent a lot of time growing up in Europe (mostly Spain) and have missed the lifestyle incredibly, and I often rant about how our food standards in the US are awful comparatively, etc..
The problem is, I and my kids have a lot of fairly severe food intolerances. It has taken several YEARS in a country where we are fluent in the language and familiar with the customs to find brands/products that work well for us. Even the healthiest fanciest most wonderful organic farm made jerky usually has more sugar than I would like, and quite often traces of dairy. I am aware that it is an annoyance/pain in the ass/complicated to explain all the exact issues to store clerks and restaurant staff, so I am trying to find the best replacements for our usual "safe" snacks before we get there. (this doesn't even get into the fact that we still have to *try* all the new stuff and see what we actually enjoy)
I had hoped to take some of our staple (very favorite, yummy, AND healthy) jerky, protein powder, and fish oil so that we have a little grace period to find stuff in stores to transition to, but I then realized that could all be confiscated at customs. We obviously eat homemade meals of fresh meat/fish/eggs & veg/fruit at home, but we won't have a fridge or stove for at least a month so the dried/prepared snack issue is actually quite important. I made the mistake of asking if "baby carrots" (miniature sticks of carrot in bags) are popular over there (they were not in any of the countries I spent a lot of time in when I was a kid) because they are a favorite snack of my kids, and of course that prompted the comment that I might find fruit/veg if I looked. I know I can buy proper carrots everywhere, I just wondered about this specific packaging b/c it would be very convenient and please my kids. (Not having to get a cutting board, knife, etc to prep in our hotel room is a bonus)
I asked about coffee as well, though I am sure there is coffee generally we make an effort to get really high quality organic stuff, and if decaf water processed, which is not easy to find over here at all, so I wanted tips on finding it over there. (Is there a special name/brand for this type of thing?)
I found 2 "bio" healthfood stores (I think) near our hotel which I will check out as soon as I can when we get there, but any assistance with finding these things would be appreciated. (For example, over here many groceries are now stocking an "allergen free" section with gluten free and dairy free stuff, is that common over there?)
Please don't take my questions as some sort of slight against Germany or an indication that I am fearful of a new country or culture (that one really pissed me off, btw) I am just doing a bit of research so we can be comfortable and productive when we first arrive and look for a house.
Thanks so much.