Before or after the main dish? People always tend to eat it before, but if there is really a science to back that up. or people eat it before because there is some nutritional and healthy issue that comes into play.
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For my girls, I always gave them their vegetables first whether it was a salad, carrots, or what not. I wanted them to develop good eating habits and if you put the lasagna in front of any age kid first, they're going to go for that for pure biological reasons. I think that it's worked as so far, my girls are definitely more fit than the American average. Just two weeks ago, I brought dinner to the table without bringing a salad first (I felt the main entree was already vegetable heavy) and both my girls protested saying "Daddy, where's the salad?"1