Jerico Roman with a box of the Nature’s Path Maple Cinnamon Waffles he loves to eat. (Photo: GoFundMe)

Jerico Roman with a box of the Nature’s Path Maple Cinnamon Waffles he loves to eat. (Photo: GoFundMe)

B.C. mom’s waffle-finding mission for son becomes a ‘complex’ baking adventure

Nature’s Path gave Jenna Roman the recipe, but it’s not easy to make at home

A Surrey mother is working hard on her baking skills, now that a commercial waffle maker has given her the recipe to help feed her very discerning son.

Jenna Roman was thrilled when Richmond-based Nature’s Path Foods sent precise details about how to make their discontinued Maple Cinnamon Waffles, which is the only food eaten by her son, Jerico, other than vitamin-packed smoothies. The nine-year-old has autism, and struggles with extreme oral aversion and complex eating challenges.

In recent months Roman has been on a mission to round up remaining waffle stock, and now she’s making them herself.

“The waffle recipe isn’t easy to make — it’s actually very complex,” Roman explained. “The next step in this journey is to replicate this recipe and tweak it until it’s accepted (by Jerico). Hopefully it’s an easy switch-over but the people in the R&D department let me know it’s not an exact copy, taste-wise and smell-wise, so we’ll have to tweak it as we go here.”

(Story continues below)

The Guildford-area family’s story has made headlines across North America in recent weeks.

“It’s been amazing, and it’s good for the awareness around this subject,” Roman said about all the media attention. “There are tons of families with children and adults dealing with similar challenges, so I’m glad it’s being talked about to kind of give a voice to people dealing with it.”

People with oral aversion, like Jerico, strongly dislike or are afraid of anything touching their mouth, which can lead to a refusal to eat, drink, be touched or an overactive gag reflex.

Roman started Twitter and Facebook accounts to document the ordeal, and a GoFundMe page has raised more than $5,000 for her to buy more of the waffles and two freezers to store them for Jerico, who turns 10 in April.

(Story continues below)

The “Waffles For Jerico” Facebook page raves about Nature’s Path Organic Foods as an “amazing company that has gone above and beyond to help Jerico. Without them, I would have no direction or plan on what to do when my stock runs out. This is Jerico’s lifeline at this point in his life.”

The waffle recipe is posted on naturespath.com, along with an explanation that some of the original commercial ingredients are not available at the grocery store. “We wanted to be sure Jenna could easily find everything she needed for the recipe,” the company says. “Then the amounts had to be adjusted, but the (research & development) team was determined to get just right! Over several weeks, they repeatedly tested and tweaked the recipe and now feel they have developed a home recipe that tastes just like our commercial Cinnamon Maple Waffles.”

(Story continues below photo)

homelessphoto

PICTURED: Jenna Roman (submitted photo)

A single mother of three, Roman has had her hands full searching for a waffle solution.

“I’m trying to make them without Jerico knowing, at night, because he has no idea about everything that’s happening at this point,” she said. “I don’t want to create more anxiety around eating and everything about the waffles.”

(Story continues below video about ARFID, or Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder)

On social media, Roman said she’s had to deal with some scornful people who can’t understand why Jerico won’t eat other things.

“I try not to respond,” she said, “but people don’t understand, or are even open to understanding. It’s a severe challenge, and back in the day, kids who had these challenges were institutionalized and just put away, because nobody knew how to deal with it. Some kids will starve themselves, to the point of hospitalization and needing a feeding tube.

“It’s an extreme situation that many kids, parents, adults have to struggle with,” Roman added, “and I’ve been in a situation two times where Jerico almost had to be put on a feeding tube, and that’s very hard to take as a parent. He’s been through tons of therapy and therapists, and I’m hoping that with all this attention, maybe a specialist would want to jump on board and work with Jerico on this situation. He also deals with migraines triggered by anxiety that go with feeding as well.”

(Story continues below)

Waffle recipe in hand, Roman went to work making them at home.

“It’s tricky because replicating a commercial, boxed waffle like that is so much different than making waffles at home with an iron,” she elaborated. “You have to have right temperature — cool it but not too much because it’ll go soggy when you freeze it, so the timing is key too. They actually gave me two (recipes), and they said I might have to bake them as well before freezing. It’s all quite a process.”

Ultimately, she’d love for Nature’s Path to start making her son’s favourite waffles again.

“I’m hoping for that, because they’re very good waffles,” Roman said. “People don’t realize they’re not making them anymore, so hopefully the company will consider making them again. I don’t quite understand why they’re gone. It would save a lot of time and energy for me to create them, that’s for sure, and I’m just thankful they were able to go through everything and recreate the recipe because it wasn’t easy, not easy at all.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Food

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Logan Rands pokes the puck away from Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Talon Duff. (Elena Rardon/Black Press Media)
Offence sags as Cowichan Capitals reach midway mark

Caps score one goal in three games as pod season continues

BCYP Minister for the Southern Interior, Aislinn Dressler of Fernie said the Youth Parliament being virtual was a great way to learn about how the BC Parliament was operating. (Photo contributed by Aislinn Dressler)
Applications open for Islands Youth Parliament

Applications must be received by April 23

Someone used this counterfeit $50 to pay for items at the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store in downtown Duncan in April 2021. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan businesses warned of counterfeit cash

Fake $50 passed at Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

Martin Drakeley, North Cowichan’s manager of fire and bylaw services, says the municipality’s fire halls have responded to more fires than usual this spring. (File photo)
Dry weather, wind leads to more brushfires this spring in North Cowichan

‘Be safe. Be fire smart. Be situationally aware.’

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus is putting a 41-passenger electric bus through its paces in a three-month trial run between Nanaimo and Victoria. (Photo submitted)
Electric bus on trial run serving Victoria-to-Nanaimo route

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus trying out 41-seat electric coach for three months

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Most Read