Being vegan mainly involves not eating animals or any animal products and, if you can cook for yourself, this can be very easy. You go to the supermarket, buy what you need, go home, cook it and eat it. As a kid this can be much harder. You can't buy your own food, you may not be allowed to cook, you might be the only vegan in your family. It's tough as well when you don't have any vegan friends. So, how do you eat vegan in a non-vegan world?
Eating at Home
When eating with your family you're going to have to find easy alternatives for the animal products on their plates, you can't just remove the meat from a meal as you still need to replace the energy that the meat would have given you. This could be using a vegan alternative to the meat option, fishless fingers instead of fish fingers, vegan nuggets instead of chicken nuggets. There are simple swaps such as making sure that the baked beans that your family buy are OK for vegans so that everyone can eat the same. When your family is eating a piece of meat, such as chicken drumsticks, you could ask to have a portion of kidney beans with the sauce that they are having so that everything else stays the same. There's also tofu as a substitute. These solutions aren't expensive and swapping items such as baked beans can be cheaper. You could also encourage your family to have meat-free days and join you.
Eating when you're out with friends and family is much easier now that veganism has become so popular, even MacDonalds has a vegan happy meal. If you do eat out and there aren't any meals that are labeled as vegan take a look at the menu and see of there is something that you can make vegan. There may be a salad that is OK apart from some cheese on top, you can ask to have the salad with no cheese. There could be a sandwich that you'd like to try but it have mayonnaise in it, if you ask nicely you could get one made without the mayonnaise. If you're going to a friend's house ask your friend to talk to their parents about the things that you can and can't eat. They may not agree with your choices, but they won't let you go hungry. Not great, I know, but sometimes people don't know how to cook in a vegan way so when you go to your friend's houses talk to their parents and let them know how easy it is.
Eating at School
School dinners? Almost never vegan. Options? Packed lunch, if you can. If you can't have a packed lunch then just do your best. Remember, being vegan isn't about being perfect, it's about making choices that minimise the harm to all beings and the planet. Some days you may be stuck with a baked potato with beans, other days there may be more to choose from. Regardless, don't make a fuss and don't behave as if you're a victim of a meat eating world. Just hold your head up high with your baked potato and know that you're doing a good thing. If you sulk about having beans (again) you'll make people think that vegans are moody.
There are lots of simple vegan snacks that you can make for yourself that don't involve cooking. Three that I like are nachos with salsa, apple slices with a nut butter, there lots to choose from, not just peanut butter, and hummus, anything with hummus. Yum!