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

Vancouver Giants recorded three power-play goals Wednesday against the Victoria Royals. This is a new season-best for the G-Men. (Paige Bednorz/Special to Black Press Media)
Giants topple Victoria to hold on to top spot

In a 5-3 victory over the Royals on Wednesday night, several highlight-reel moments

Firefighters carry equipment from the scene of Monday’s Willoughby fire. The April 19, 2021 blaze turned the Alexander Square development at the corner of 208th Street and 80th Avenue to rubble. (Rob Wilton/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Willoughby Fire: The aftermath of the inferno in Langley

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

A ambulance drives past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
9 Lower Mainland hospitals to postpone non-urgent surgeries as hospitalizations surge

Record number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across B.C.

Sgt. Frank Jang of IHIT spoke Thursday morning at the press conference about three recent gangland murders, including the killing of UN Gang member Todd Gouwenberg at the Langley Sportsplex on April 21. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Langley man gunned down at Sportsplex was long-time gang member

Todd Gouwenberg was affiliated with the UN Gang, police said

Abbotsford South MLA Bruce Banman’s riding includes Aldergrove. (Black Press Media files)
‘The budget B.C. was hoping for is not there’: Aldergrove’s MLA

Liberal MLA Bruce Banman said new provincial budget has little for residents

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

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

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. Carlos Monteith, the man charged in the Clayton shooting, was sentenced April 22 on charges related to a different shooting in New West in November, 2019. (File photo)
Man gets 6.5 years in prison for shooting as he awaits trial for separate Cloverdale slaying

Carlos Nathaniel Monteith sentenced for possessing a prohibited weapon and discharging a firearm with intent

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read