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

This photo shows crews the fire at 7987 Galbraith Cres. that caused extensive damage and displaced six residents early Sunday morning. (Central Saanich Fire/Department Twitter)
Central Saanich rallies around couple who lost home of 25 years

A GoFundMe campaign is currently underway for Carla and Brian Wallace

The government map (as of April 22) showing vaccine availability doesn’t have any Saanich Peninsula pharmacies listed, but the situation is fluid, and many readers have already registered. (Province of B.C. screenshot)
Vaccine availability a fluid situation for Saanich Peninsula

Government site may not show pharmacies, but registering still an option

Volunteers with the Esquimalt Farmers Market will be on hand at Bullen Field to direct attendees and clarify public health protocols. The market runs Thursdays now through Sept. 16, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Facebook/Esquimalt Farmers Market)
Esquimalt Farmers Market continues tonight at Bullen Field

Award-winning market features farm-fresh products, food trucks, COVID-19 protocols for safety

A member of the Belmont Secondary School in Langford has tested positive for COVID-19, the Sooke School District announced Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Positive COVID-19 case identified at Belmont Secondary School in Langford

Other school members could’ve been exposed on April 20

While Buccaneer Days public events are cancelled again, such as the annual parade, a home and business decorating contest will allow the spirit of the event to live on. (Facebook)
Esquimalt Buccaneer Days COVID-19 cannon fodder again

Annual celebration cancelled a second time, decorating contest full steam ahead

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

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

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

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

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

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

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