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

Online guide expected to make applying for building permits easier. (The News files)
City of Maple Ridge launches new building permit application tool

Users can print or save their results for easy access

Dogs big and small on the patio at Witchcraft Beer Market and Bistro. (City of Maple Ridge/Youtube)
VIDEO: Businesses embrace new Dog Friendly Maple Ridge pilot project

Pets can come onto a patio at a restaurant or enter participating retail spaces

A photo submitted to municipal staff on April 6 showing a beaver dam southwest of Chester Street. The drainage issues on the south side of the highway are the responsibility of CP Rail, as they own the property. Photo courtesy of the District of Mission.
Delegation of Silverdale farmers say land continually floods along Lougheed Highway

Beaver dams, siltation, fallen trees, bad ditching is sinking crops next to recently widened highway

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Ken Dockendorf is rallying opposition to the changes to high school sports governance. (The News files)
Maple Ridge coaches oppose changes to high school sports governance

Vote coming on May 1 could change varsity sports across B.C.

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

MP Todd Doherty took to Facebook after his family recently received threats. (Todd Doherty, MP Facebook photo)
‘I don’t run and I don’t hide’: Cariboo MP says RCMP probing threats made against family

Todd Doherty has also notified House of Commons Protective Services

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

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

The music video for “Green and Blue” featured a Willington Care Centre in Burnaby as well as some of the volunteers and employees. (Screenshot/Todd Richard)
‘Green and Blue’: B.C. country musician releases tribute song for front-line workers

Richard’s new single has been viewed more than 3,000 times on his YouTube channel

An unidentified B.C. man said, in a human rights complaint, that he was refused a contract job after refusing to wear a mask when asked to by an on-site manager. (Unsplash)
Religious B.C. man lodges human rights complaint after fired for refusing to wear a mask

Worker’s claim that ‘to cover up our face infringes on our God-given ability to breathe’ dismissed by B.C. Human Rights Tribunal

This 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 was stolen from Black Creek Motors at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, April 11. Photos via blackcreekmotors.com
VIDEO: B.C. car dealer posts clip of thieves towing a truck right off his lot

Video shows one white truck towing another off Vancouver Island lot

White Rock's popularity as a destination places it in a difficult position in ensuring provincial health orders are followed, Coun. David Chesney said, asking that staff obtain impartial input from both Fraser Health and the Ministry of Health before further measures are debated. (File photo)
Pandemic crowding on waterfront vexes White Rock council

Overcrowding, extra garbage the downside of take-out business

Most Read