Children’s food expert Annabel Karmel has launched World Foods multi-ethnic ready meals in an attempt to encourage children aged four and up to eat more exotic dishes. The new range, which includes chicken tikka masala & rice and salmon fishballs & rice (rsp £2.49 for a 300g meal), would introduce more interesting flavours to children from an earlier age to help develop their palates, said Karmel.

The World Foods range is rolling out in Sainsbury’s now, where it will sit alongside Karmel’s Eat Fussy range of ready meals.

Produced by Irish manufacturer Kerry Foods, it would help her £5m brand double in size over the next 12 months, Karmel predicted.

“Conservatively speaking, we expect World Foods to add £3m to sales in the first year,” she said. “Combine that with the brand’s entrance into Tesco stores nationwide in January and we are confident sales will have grown to £10m next year.”

Karmel said it was important to expand the taste buds of children to prevent them from becoming fussy eaters – now true of eight out of 10 children. From an early age, children were naturally receptive to a range of flavours, she added. “Children’s tastes are more sophisticated than parents credit them for. World Foods will expand the variety of foods children enjoy eating.”

A four-strong range of Annabel Karmel-branded ambient cooking sauces with ‘hidden vegetables’ is under development and due to be launched next year. There are also plans to launch cooking sets for children in time for this year’s festive season.