My inability to get every part of the meal on the table at the same time(a task my farm-raised mother accomplished with ease) has surprisingly resulted in my children (ages 5 and 7) eating more than the required servings of fruits and vegetables. I always put out the fruit or vegetables first, and let my kids start eating. At breakfast, I put out the juice and one or two kinds of sliced fruit first. While my kids are eating the fruit, I finish the rest of breakfast. Dinner is the same; I first set out a dipping vegetable on the table (maybe carrots, sliced peppers or cucumbers), then serve the hot vegetables, and my kids know to go ahead and start with the hot vegetables while I (slowly) bring the rest of the meal to the table.
Because they are always at their hungriest when they eat vegetables, they tend to like just about any vegetable I serve.
I don’t worry about them filling up on vegetables, although it would be fine if they did, and I’d much rather them fill up on fruits and vegetables than on bread
Sure, we don’t all sit down to eat at exactly the same time, but the difference is only a few minutes, and the remaining meal is certainly much more relaxing and enjoyable for me, as I don’t have to continually remind them to eat their vegatables since they are already gone!
We also have a "Fruit with TV" rule. My children don’t watch much TV, but when they do watch, they are only allowed to snack on fruit.
TV supposedly leads to mindless eating, but mindlessly eating fruit is fine with me.
Lastly, about once a month we’ll have a "color" day, where they can pick a color and every fruit and vegetable we eat has to be that color. (black is off limits).
It’s a fun way to get them to want to try foods such as purple eggplant or cabbage.