Meats and seafood: Wild game meats are low in fat and quite delicious. No need to overcook your elk, venison or other game meats -- they're delicious and safe to eat when cooked to a medium temperature. Here's how to cook healthy foods on a grill.
Seafood is usually low in fat and has omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for your health, and astaxanthin, which is an antioxidant. I like to place a piece of white fish in aluminum foil with a bit of white wine, fresh herbs, garlic, lemon and almonds. Wrap up the foil into a packet and cook over low heat. Or pack up some cold cooked shrimp and cocktail sauce for pre-game shrimp cocktails.
Poultry, including skinless chicken or turkey breasts, can be grilled and served with a little of your favorite barbecue sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or served plain. Another option is to make these low-fat "Buffalo wings and reheat them in a foil pan on the grill.
Breads and rolls: Most burgers and hotdogs are served on plain white hamburger buns and hotdog rolls. Bring 100-percent whole grain breads, rolls and buns instead. You might want to start your pre-tailgating morning with a hearty breakfast that includes a bowl of hot oatmeal or other whole grain cereal.
Vegetables: Chunks of tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers, squash and zucchini can all be grilled and served as side dishes. Use skewers to make kabobs with your favorite vegetables and chunks of lean meat, chicken or shrimp. Young potatoes with their skins, asparagus and sweet corn can also be roasted on a grill. I like to use a metal pan placed over low heat so the small or narrow vegetables don't fall through the grates.
Fruit: If your tailgating parties require some sweet treats, you can skip the sugary stuff and bring fresh fruit such as apples, pears, bananas, peaches, and berries instead. Slice some apples and serve them with a bit of caramel sauce, or top your berries with canned whipped cream.
Beverages: If your tailgating party is going to include alcohol, be sure to provide plenty of water and other non-alcoholic soft drinks so you're in good shape for game time. Regular soft drinks are high in calories from all the added sugar, but you can choose diet soda, sparkling water or some 100-percent fruit juice, which still has a lot of calories, but also has good nutritional value.
Food safety: Don't forget about food safety practice when you grill or serve foods outdoors. Hot foods need to stay hot (over 140 degrees Fahrenheit) and cold foods need to stay cold (below 40 degrees Fahrenheit). Keep raw meats and seafood away from foods that are ready to serve and bring plenty of clean utensils.