The Still Alice star says "let them eat junk food"

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Credit: Eric Charbonneau/AP

She might take home the Best Actress Oscar this year for her heartbreaking performance in Still Alice, but Julianne Moore knows how to keep it light with her family.

Raising her kids – Caleb, 17, and Liv, 12 – with her husband, director Bart Freundlich, Moore, 54, has heeded the advice she’s been given on raising teens.

“It’s okay to let them eat junk food, because they’re just going to go to somebody else’s house and eat it if you don’t,” the actress tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “If you want to keep them around, go ahead and just buy the Oreos.”

Portraying a college linguistics professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice has made Moore all the more appreciative of the life she’s created outside of Hollywood.

“I was lucky enough to shoot this in New York City and I was 20 minutes away on the West Side Highway, so I would come home every night and I would be really happy,” she says. “I have two beautiful children and a job that I like and I’m invested in things that are interesting and emotional, honestly it made me feel grateful more than anything else.”

All the Oscar talk (it would be the first win for Moore after four nominations) just makes the actress feel even more appreciative.

“The fact that people are talking about that … it hasn’t been a year since we started this movie, we were lucky to get financing to shoot it, to get distribution before the end of the year, that in itself is astonishing! But to be in a conversation about this kind of stuff. Holy cow,” she says. “I just feel so lucky.”

For more of Moore’s interview, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now