Some parents are under the illusion that just because they give their little curtain climbers juice instead of bouncing them off the walls with soda that they are somehow providing them with a lesser evil.

Unfortunately, that is not always true, as some of these juices disguised as a healthy drink alternatives can contain nearly as much sugar as hard candy.

According to the American Heart Association, children ages 1 to 3 consume nearly 12 teaspoons of sugar a day, while kids between the ages of 4 and 8 consume an average of 21 teaspoons a day — with a whopping daily dose for teens being somewhere around 34 teaspoons.

Mira Calton, a licensed certified nutritionist says that most people are not aware that too much sugar can lead to obesity and Type 2 diabetes, let alone put their child’s immune system in jeopardy.

“Sugar competes for the same receptor site in cells as vitamin C, so when sugar gets into those sites first and restricts vitamin C from entry, a child’s immune system can be greatly compromised and colds and infections can increase,” said Calton.

Family nutritionist and creator of MomDishesItOut.com Laura Cipullo says that learning how to decipher real nutrition facts at the grocery store is the key to making healthier choices. “If there are words ending in o-s-e, syrups, food colorings or artificial sweetener, put it back.”

Five Sugary Culprits

1. Minute Maid Apple Juice – 52 grams of sugar, as much as 25 Dunkin Donut sugared munchkins.

2. Hi-C Poppin’ Lemonade – 26 grams of sugar, 7 grams more sugar than a Krispy Kreme chocolate iced creme filled donut.

3. Minute Maid Orange Juice – 48 grams of sugar, the equivalent of 4 cups of Kellogg’s Fruit Loops.

4. Sobe Citrus Energy – 63 grams of sugar, the equivalent to sucking down 29 sugar-filled straws of Pixy Stixs.

5. Tropicana Twister Orange Strawberry Banana Burst – 64 grams of sugar, nearly as much as 21 Tootsie Roll candies.

[FOX]