Boy with autism gets recipe for his favorite waffles that have been discontinued

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Jenna Roman created a GoFundMe last month about her search for specific waffles for her almost 10-year-old son Jerico. She said on the site her son has autism, extreme oral aversion and eating issues and “has had trouble with eating since he was 8 months old when more structured eating was introduced.”

Roman explained that her son went back in 2020 after falling ill with what she suspected COVID-19. He stopped eating for 12 days and “had regressed to the point where he had to relearn how to drink and eat,” Roman said.

Jerico’s favorite waffles were unavailable due to production issues during the pandemic and his mother let him try different waffles until he finally accepted Canadian brand Nature’s Path’s maple and cinnamon version. “I was so relieved that he finally accepted a new species as I had almost abandoned the old species,” she wrote. “I was also glad it was a business that I thought was local so I wouldn’t have to go through so much stress again.”

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Jerico’s mother let him try different waffles until he finally accepted the Nature’s Path brand. Then they were hired.

GoFundMe/Jenna Roman


However, Nature’s Path discontinued the maple cinnamon waffles that Jerico was in love with, and Roman despaired. She started GoFundMe to ask others to send her any boxes they find in stores before they’re completely sold out. “Please help to find and cover the cost of the waffles as well as a freezer to store them as frozen,” she wrote.

She said not everyone understands the gravity of Jerico’s challenge “and thinks at some point he’s just going to accept a different kind, but it doesn’t work that way,” Roman said. “He would go on a hunger strike if I didn’t have his waffles.”

The single mother-of-three also said she contacted Nature’s Path, and the company replied that it shipped boxes from the US to Canada for her. “I’m not sure how much that will come, but I’m grateful for everything at this point,” she wrote, adding that she still wishes others could help her find waffles in stores.

She also asked if anyone had a recipe so she could make Jerico’s favorite waffles at home. “I’m even willing to buy the recipe if Natures Path allows it,” she wrote. “I just need some assurance that when my supply of waffles runs out, I’ll be able to make the waffles to feed my son.”

“I’m just trying to feed my son, I’ve been through so much around him just to eat, something that would be easy for other kids, but it’s an extremely tough challenge for my son,” Roman said.

Since then, Roman has added several updates to the GoFundMe page and shared the good news that several people have sent her boxes of Jerico’s favorite waffles. Many of the waffles came from store managers who had seen Jerico’s story and wanted to help. Roman received so many boxes that she had to purchase two additional freezers to store her supplies.

And if their donated supply ever runs out, Roman now has a back-up plan: Nature’s Path has adapted its waffle recipes to take at home.

“Remember the story of Jerico and the @naturepath Maple Cinnamon Waffles? Jerico & his mom Jenna today. Good Appetite!!”

In an email to CBS News, Falk said she personally gave Roman and Jerico the recipe and a care kit of ingredients.

She’d met her about a month ago when she’d dropped off the last of Nature’s Path maple cinnamon waffles. The company had searched North America for remaining supplies and found its last remaining crates in an Illinois warehouse that were flown to Vancouver for Jerico, Falk said.

Falk said it took the R&D team about a month to adapt the recipe for home use, and it was difficult because there are some commercial ingredients that aren’t available on a small scale at the grocery store.

They also had to make sure they replicated the exact same taste and texture, Falk said. After several tests, they found what they thought was the perfect replica of the maple cinnamon waffles, but told Roman that if the recipe wasn’t accurate, they’d tweak it again.





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