TORONTO, Ont. – With students heading back to school soon, it’s time for them to start brown-bagging lunches.

Parents have to start planning and prepping to ensure their children are not hitting the school cafeteria for chips and French fries.

Nutritionist Leslie Beck said packing a lunch doesn’t have to be hard.

She said in order to vary proteins, try a lean roast beef, chicken or tuna salad sandwich on whole wheat bread or whole wheat tortillas. Students could also pack a couple of hard-boiled eggs or a hearty veggie soup.

When it comes to snacks, try nut-free granola bars, dried fruit, cheese and crackers, yogurt shakes or mini-cup yogurts and fruit bars.

First year university students have to be careful when choosing their meals, especially those living in residence.

According to Beck, the dreaded ‘freshman 15′ can be avoided just by cutting out some of those liquid calories.

Cut out pop, juice and try your best to limit the amount of beer you have at the pub. Students should also think about portion control.

Beck said just because the meal is already paid for, that doesn’t mean the student has to eat everything in sight. Try the salad bar first before hitting the burger and fries section.     

Also keep healthy snacks and fresh fruit and veggies in the dorm room refrigerator, instead of chips.